Are Sexual Predators Chatting With Your Teenager Online? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Are Sexual Predators Chatting With Your Teenager Online?

SPOKANE, WASH. - In the life of Kimberlie Case and her seven kids, there's at least one case with a simple solution.

"It's just very important to me to monitor what's going on, on my kid's Facebook profiles," Case said.

Her rules are brief, behave on the Internet or face the consequences her Shelby did just two weeks ago when Case took away her Facebook privileges. This mother keeps an eye on what her daughter posts, what she says and who she's talking. It turns out that's probably a good idea.

Especially when you meet Deputy Damon Simmons and you find out just how bad online offenders can be. Deputy Simmons with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office spends a lot of his time in Internet chat rooms tracking sexual predators.

"There's a 50% chance if you're child is online on a website designated for children, there's a 50% chance that they're talking to an adult, not a child," Simmons said.

Simmons is the first to tell you that the Internet does a lot of good, but without question, it surely has opened a new door to danger for your kid.

"It has broken down barriers, it has eliminated borders, they can have contact with a child without traveling, showing a passport or going through a checkpoint," Simmons said.

Though sites like Facebook may have knocked out a checkpoint, it's provided the chance to check-in and post pictures showing where people are.

"I've seen pictures in front of their schools with their football uniforms on. Imagine how much that says if someone wants to find a kid," Simmons says.

But it's not just social networking sites that Sheriff's are concerned about, it's webcams, too. These give sex offenders the chance to capture video of potential victims.

Kimberlie Case considers this is a serious issue. She says she's not trying to hold her kids back, she just knows the things they write and the pictures they post today, they're going to be there tomorrow, and they could be around many years from now.

It's online opportunity that's given the youngest of generations an avenue that many parents have never been down, but feel free to jump on board as it seems prevention is the only thing stopping predators in this time of technology.

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