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Online predators: How to keep your family safe

A high profile arrest raises new concerns about the dangers of online child predators.
Internet technology and social media continue to make strides. It's great news for the most part, but it also gives potential predators easier access to our kids.

"It's so frightening, I can't even describe it," says mother of two young boys, Nora Snyder-Trevino.
Snyder-Trevino realizes how easy it can be to fall victim to dangers online.

"If we don't pay attention, they're on the internet whether it be Facebook or something else and who knows who they can come in contact with," said Snyder-Trevino.

A mother in Connecticut recently had her 14-year-old daughter go missing.  Forensic evidence from the girl's phone led investigators to 27-year-old, Nathan Salas of Merced.  Investigators said Salas communicated with the teen, then traveled all the way to Hamden, Connecticut to bring her back to California.  They were intercepted at the Sacramento International Airport.  Salas had reportedly cultivated a relationship with the girl online.
Sgt. Jeff Kertson with the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, also known as ICAC specializes in catching online predators.  The team covers nine counties across the Central Valley. 

"It's quite often that we come across 12, 11, 10 year old individuals, kids that are on the internet three to four in the morning," said Sgt. Kertson.

Sgt. Kertson said it's important to monitor your children and it should start as early as the age of six.
One of the best ways to protect your child is to get the computer out of their bedroom.  Also, be aware of their passwords to social media sites. You can accomplish this with unannounced spot inspections of their computers.
"My Mobile Watchdog" is a parental control app that allows you to monitor text messages, pictures and even block phone usage after a certain time.


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