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Convicted sex offender Roy Faux of Springfield is being charged with attempted enticement of a child on the internet. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes tells us how social networking sites, without proper supervision, can open up communication lines between your child and a predator.
It’s common practice for kids and many adults to document their every move with social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter, but who’s really watching?
Roy Faux is a registered sex offender in Greene County. That lable requires him to do everything from turning off his porch light on Halloween night to staying away from public places that are heavily populated with children. However, he was allowed to use the internet, and that’s exactly what he did. He’s being accused of trying to entice a young girl through Facebook.
Faux’s arrest comes as a startling reminder to parents in the Ozarks. Many parents feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to keep up with their kids on the internet.
Kathleen O’Dell is the community relations director of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library. She says parents would have a hard time knowing what their children are doing on the internet if they themselves don’t know how to use it. She says the library offers a class that could make all the difference.
“We have a course called internet basics through the EDGE Technology Center and that would enable parents to understand how to use the internet and how to look at different websites and use search engines and check up on some of the sites that they know their children have been on or are going on and then they can monitor what there children are looking at,” says O’Dell.
The Federal Trade Commission also offers a guide to help parents keep kids safe on social networking sites. Here are a few of the suggested tips:
1. Help kids understand what information should be kept private. Children should be told that phone numbers, addresses, and financial information should never be posted on the internet. It’s also important to choose screen names that don’t give away a child’s identity.
2. Use privacy settings to restrict who can access a child’s website, as well as post information on it.
3. Remember that some kids can access the internet on their cell phones and check with your provider to set limitations.
4. Also, you can create your own facebook page and add your child as a friend to better monitor who they are talking to. It’s also important to make sure that all of the “friends” listed on your child’s profile are someone they know.
The FTC also recommends keeping computers in family rooms so that a child’s internet usage can be monitored. Research conducted by the FTC shows that teens who choose to talk about sexual topics on the internet are much more likely to come into contact with a predator. Discussing those risk factors with internet savvy-teens could keep them out of harm’s way.
For more information visit our website: KSMU.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.