Online predators more active during the summer

Most parents remember to tell their kids about the dangers that exist outside of your house, but it’s also important to remember the dangers that exist within the four walls of your home. More specifically, online.

“We have to be mindful that it is a scary world out there. Sexual predators aren’t just waiting for kids on corners. They are using technology. They are more sophisticated nowadays,” says, Val Senegal, Director of Education at Hearts of Hope Lafayette.

She says the summer is oftentimes a period when children fall victim to predators because of all the free time kids have.

“Some of these kids are at home and if they’re at home all day, that can open up Pandora’s box to just access anything online where a lot of these predators are just waiting, lurking for children to prey on,” Senegal explains.

She tells News 10 the best way to prevent children from falling victim is by having that important conversation with them.

“Stranger danger is online. So just because they have been corresponding with this person over a couple of days, weeks or months, it doesn’t mean they know this person,” she said. “If they’ve never met them in real life, if they’ve never laid their eyes on them, they should not be arranging to meet with anyone.”

Senegal encourages parents to be vigilant about who kids are talking to and adds that anytime any behavior seems alarming, keep copies of it and report it to your local law enforcement agency.

She also says to take extra precaution, parents can set parental controls on their children’s electronic devices as well as their home Wi-Fi.

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