Midland Police Detectives say the anonymity that comes with social media, makes their lives harder.
With new smart phone apps popping up on your phone and new websites on the computer, it’s now easier for predators to reach you at the comfort of your own home.
“Scary and unfortunately you can’t stop all that,” says Midland resident, Sonia Johnson.
“Just keeping your stuff on private!” says Sonia’s daughter Madison on what children and teenagers using smart phones should do.
Sonia and Madison say it’s all about communication.
“The rule in our house,” says Sonia, “is if she comes to me and she’s honest, I’m not going to promise I won’t be mad, but she won’t be in trouble.”
But not everyone has that open dialogue which is something Midland Police Detective, Jimmy Cox says is crucial.
“Developing a sense of trust, developing that sense of understanding that you’re not there to invade their privacy, you’re there to protect them.” He says there are a number of steps you can take to make sure your child stays safe. “Go proactive […] placing computers in public places […] with parental controls you can take some of that constant vigilant monitoring away because the software will do it for you.”
If you do find your child speaking to someone they shouldn’t, Cox says don’t respond back angrily, contact the police.
“You have to be proactive and realize it’s out there and just watch your kids,” agrees Sonia.
Below is a list a resources designed to help parents right cyber child predators:
We spoke to Midland District Attorney, Teresa Clingman who says a press conference tomorrow will be focusing on cyber predators.
Clingman says an undercover operation to confront online child predators over two days proved extremely successful.
The event will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the Midland Texas Department of Public Safety and will involve DPS, Department of Homeland Security, The Midland County Sheriff’s Office, and the Midland District Attorney’s office.