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Police warn parents about danger some apps pose to kids

Updated: Aug. 16, 2019 at 6:18 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - West Alabama authorities say parents can do more to protect their kids from the dangers of some of the apps on a child’s smartphone.

″We’re are working a case now of a young lady who was exploited." Lt. Darren Beams of the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force explained.

Beams describes a recent case of communicating through an app that wasn’t what it appeared to be.

“She wound up sending this individual pictures. She thought this person was same age as was. Turned he wasn’t. He was an internet predator,” Beams continued.

Things escalated quickly in that case. Beams said online predators can target children through chat room and social media apps if parents aren’t aware of their kids online activity.

“The apps that are out there can be disguised as something else on the phone. If the parent were to look at just the simple, typical screen there may be a hidden app there,” he says.

Beams believes parents should check every app on their child’s phone. He also suggested parents talk their kids about online safety. Don’t tell strangers anything that could help them identify them or show them where they live.

“There’s no checks and balances with these things,” he concluded.

Parents can take an additional step that includes taking possession of their child’s phone at night while it’s charging so no one can communicate with them while they may be sleeping.

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