Local Connection: Sextortion Apps

Published: Sep. 30, 2019 at 5:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Helping you keep your children and your family safe is a primary mission of Hawaii News Now.

Its in that spirit that we reported last week about the new generation of smart phone apps that have the potential to put children at risk.

These apps enable young people to be paid by strangers for doing things on line. That is tempting some children into sexual posing and conversations they are too young to understand – while being rewarded.

The worst of the predators who prowl these apps have recorded the young people and used the recordings to extort them to do more.

These apps also have secrecy built in – so a parent who occasionally checks a child's device won't see any evidence of trouble.

The FBI tells us that law enforcement is having a hard time keeping up with the fast developing app world.

Its frustrating --If the FBI can't keep up – how are we supposed to?

Two bits of practical advice: First, keep the kids phones with you after bedtime and keep an eye out for lights and conversation late at night.

But most of all – talk to them honestly about the risks on line and let them know you worry and care about their lives.

The answer to technology is not more technology, it is in the relationships we have with our children and that they have with us.

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