Crime Watch Daily Town Hall: Parents, teens discuss cyberbullying, sextortion, smartphone apps and social media
11/28/2016 10:57 am PST
If you ask kids what's the biggest problem they face today, "cyberbullying" is almost always near or at the top of the list.
In fact, more than 40 percent of kids have been bullied online.
Crime Watch Daily talks to a victim whose attack included more than just nasty words and all of it caught on video.
Social media: Fun and games for teens. But it's the Wild West for sex predators. New apps make it easier for despicable lowlifes to prey on your kids.
"Cybercreeps," "Cyberbullies," "Sextortionists": Your teenager's secret online life could put them in the crosshairs of a pedophile.
Crime Watch Daily wants you to know the secrets in your kids' smartphones. So we put together a teen town hall at a middle school in Phoenix, Arizona, with clinical psychologist Dr. Lisa Strohman leading the discussion.
"I would expect that parents would be shocked a little bit and I think that some of them might be really worried at some of the access their kids have had," said Strohman.
She'll be in one room with the kids, I'll be in another room with the parents. We'll watch it all go down on a big screen TV.
It's an unfortunate reality: The virtual world is infiltrating your kids' lives and they have stories to tell far beyond their years.
And the random problems go beyond sexual predation. Kids are even cyber-sex-stalking each other. And every day there seems to be a new app or website to lure children.
In our town hall we learned it's more than predators who may be going after your children. It could be their best friend.
There seems to be a nationwide epidemic of cyberbullying across the country. And the cyberbullying doesn't happen only on social media. It also occurs within interactive video games.
So is there anything parents can do to protect their teens? Dr. Lisa Strohman has three simple tips to help protect your children:
1. Draw up a contract with your kids on their cellphones. The use of the phone should be a privilege not a right, so you should have rules.
2. Parents should always have the password to the child's phone. Even though there are ways around passwords, sometimes just knowing you have the passwords will prevent kids from doing something they shouldn't.
3. Create your own secret password to protect app purchases. Kids shouldn't have free rein to download apps that parents don't know about.