WICHITA FALLS, TX
At the top of most kid's Christmas list you will find electronic devices.
This holiday season give yourself the gift of knowing how to protect your child from online predators.
Sergeant Harold McClure of the Wichita Falls Police Department wants parents to be aware of strangers entering their child's life via online networks.
“You need to know what your children are getting involved in. You need to know who they are with, who they are talking to, what they are allowing to come into their world,” said Sgt. McClure.
Parents need to be informed of the many ways to know who is communicating with their child.
Max Phipps with MacTech Solution said many devices come with parental settings.
“Learn the your ability to control the device and what your kids are using it for,” said Phipps.
He adds parents must do their research.
Parents should get online and search your child's device information, the websites and apps they use. Phipps said if you still need answers consult an I.T. specialist.
Above all, communication is the key.
“Use basic communication with your kids, and be open and honest with them,” said Phipps.
This means no passwords. Sgt. McClure said passwords are equivalent to a locked bedroom door.
“You have that right as a parent, so when it comes to social media that password is sort of like that door. It needs to be unlocked to the parent,” said Sgt. McClure.
Keep your child's devices unlocked and monitor them.
‘You're not just going to allow any stranger to come in your home. You're not going to open up your door and allow them come in and spend time with your family or with your children, without knowing who they are,” said Sgt. McClure.
He adds, if you suspect your child is communicating with a sexual predator be sure to save the evidence. You can do this by taking a screen shot of text messages and pictures. Then contact police immediately.
Sgt. McClure said all online users need to protect their personal information. Many of these safety precautions are important for adults too because anyone can become a victim of an online predator.