ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — After a Rockford man was arrested for allegedly attempted to meet a minor for sex, parents are reminded to touch base with their children.
A local school resource officer tells Michele Rave it all starts by knowing what apps kids are using. Cases like these leave many Stateline parents worried for their children.
We spoke with one local mother who says she has taught her kids from an early age the dangers of using certain apps.
“It does worry me because mostly my kids don’t understand that that’s what could be happening. They just think they are talking to a friend in a game but they don’t understand that first off the friend doesn’t have to be who they say they are,” said Alisha Conway, a mother of two.
Alisha Conway is a mother of two boys. She says they have had access to phones and electronic devices for years now, but the first thing she did was establish some ground rules.
“They both know that I’m allowed to look at their phone anytime I want, I repeatedly tell them that’s MY phone you just get to use it and they know I can track what websites they go to and what apps they download who they talk to,” she explained.
Loves Park School Resource Officer Aaron Johnson says online predators know what kids are using online.
“A lot of times it’s using apps. Snapchat is big with children and gives them that false sense of security that the things they post go on Snapchat are not going to be seen by anyone else and that’s rarely ever the case,” Johnson said.
He encourages parents to regularly monitor their children’s electronic devices.
“I highly recommend if you don’t have all your kids’ passwords to get them,” Johnson explained. “Any of the anti-virus software companies also offer family monitoring for apps and there are different benefits to each one I know if you go through cell phone providers a lot of them do the same thing.”
As for Conway, she says parents can never be too careful.
“I would say once a week once every other week I’m going through one of theirs to make sure the only people they are talking to people I know or the places they are going are places I know,” she added.
Officer Johnson reminds parents that minors are not covered by any privacy exploitation laws, therefore you can dictate how they use their phones.