Idaho teens found in North Dakota highlight online dangers

Two teenage girls went missing from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, over the weekend and were eventually found in Williston, North Dakota, which is 700 miles away. Police say the two girls may have been lured from their home. The investigation continues, but it highlights some of the dangers of kids online.

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for children. In 2017 the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children responded to 10,000 reports regarding possible child sex trafficking. They also received more than 10.2 million reports in 2017 for suspected child sexual exploitation.

To help keep your children safe at home and online here are some tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

As a parent set ground rules for the internet by establishing what sites they can visit, apps they can download, and when they can have access to electronics. 

Learn to spot the red flags of a child who might be experiencing online enticement. Red flags include If your son or daughter is receiving gifts from unknown people and are taking extra steps to conceal what they are doing online. It also might be a red flag if you notice he or she spending an increased time online. Then finally if they become upset when he or she is not allowed on their device.

In the case of the two missing Bonners Ferry teenagers, parents were able to use the Find My iPhone app and were able to track them to Williston.

For more information on warning signs from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children click here.