Police warn of ‘Dark Side of Social Media’ - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Police warn of ‘Dark Side of Social Media’

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Metro police discuss the dangers the internet and social media apps pose to kids at the department's Northwest Area Command Tuesday night. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) Metro police discuss the dangers the internet and social media apps pose to kids at the department's Northwest Area Command Tuesday night. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

On the same day that police revealed a kindergarten teacher accused of kidnapping a teen met the alleged victim on Craigslist, officers discussed online dangers at Metro's First Tuesday event.

Police want parents to know the Internet can be a dangerous place for kids.

"It's important parents stay vigilant. They're not aware of what they're doing, not just on computer but cell phones. In a sense, you're allowing strangers into kids' bedrooms," said Sgt. Raymond Spencer with Metro's Sexual Assault Section.

Spencer said those between 8 and 18 years old spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media every day.

"If you have a cell phone you have to charge it. Keeping it in a parent's bedroom is a good idea. It keeps kids off the device and allows [parents] to go through the device to see what their kids are doing," Spencer said.

Spencer also advised parents routinely check their kids' internet history as well as all apps on their phones. New apps are created every day and they can invite predators into a child's life.

"A lot of times parents aren't aware of the capabilities of certain apps or websites and it allows someone who doesn't know your child to get in contact with your child," Spencer said.

Police also advise keeping computers out of kids' rooms.

Metro offers a two-hour class called The Dark Side of Social Media. They can teach groups of 10 adults at a time at churches, in homes or at community centers. Children are not permitted to attend.

To request a class, visit www.lvmpd.com. For more tips on online safety, visit www.missingkids.com.

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