Disturbing study results on stranger danger online

Disturbing study results on stranger danger online

(KSLA) - There’s some troubling news from a new study about our children’s cyber safety.

The study shows 43 percent of young kids are talking to perfect strangers — reports indicate that contact ranges from social media to online games. That new study referred to in this report comes from CyberSafe Ireland. It involved 4-thousand kids between 8-to-13 years of age.

We turned to Youth Mentor and Author Trina Johnson for some insight.

“Think a lot of parents are just not aware of the dangers that their kids can actually come into contact with - strangers online.”

Despite the sobering news of so many strangers talking to our kids, at least locally, there appears to be a silver lining, of sorts.

That research happens to come at a time in the Shreveport-Bossier area where there’s been a steady stream of child sex crime arrests in recent weeks.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, or ICAC, has typically played a key role in such cases for the last 13 years.

And beyond task force efforts, Trina Johnson also suggests maybe asking the suspicious stranger online a few questions of your own.

“And a lot of times the adult will pose as a kid. So, you have to ask him like, 'Do you have multiple pictures? Sometimes they only have just one picture. Can I see you, like, live?”

Taskforce members represent their own law enforcement agency, from the FBI and Homeland Security to members of the local police departments. And they’ve been busy here lately.

We asked why exactly we’re seeing this surge right now of child sex crime arrests. But, authorities told us they don’t want to reveal anything about their sources and methods that might somehow benefit the predators who are still out in the community.

Authorities credit hard work and coordination with law enforcement and the public over the years to catch these potential predators before another child is hurt.

If you’re suspicious of someone online then contact the CyberTipline 24/7 at 1 (800) 843-5678.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.