Local teens putting too much information on the Internet

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

It keeps us all connected but also provides a place for predators!

Authorities said they have noticed more cases of teens in our area putting too much online and falling victim to child predators.

Now they want parents to take action.

"Kids get in there, and they post everything - where they live, some post their home phone numbers," said Detective Dexter Day, with the Harlan County Sheriff's Department.

Detectives believe it's becoming a disturbing trend - kids are reaching anyone in the world through social networking sites like Facebook.

And all of that goes on after most kids get home from school.

"We have no control over students once they leave our school district," said David Burkhart, Chief Information Officer, for Harlan County Schools.

Burkhart said activity at school is closely monitored with an online filter mandated by the state.

"The filter is much better than anything we had previously, and that's what we use to block inappropriate material," said Burkhart.

Authorities said parents now have added responsibilities.

"Kids come in from school; they'll go to their room and up to the computer. Parents will sit back relaxing, and they're not watching," said Day.

Day recommends keeping the computer in a central location and checking your child's privacy settings as well.

"Every once in a while, just go look at what they are doing," said Day.

Experts say children often lie about their age to gain access to social networking sites. Those sites are often blocked at public schools in Kentucky.

How do you keep your children safe while online? Leave your comments and suggestions below.

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