Keeping children safe from predators on social media

WATCH: Keeping children safe from predators on social media

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Whitehaven 11-year-old wandered off this weekend after meeting a new friend via the TikTok social media app.

Thankfully she returned home safe. Police said she left with another child she met. But not long ago an Olive Branch teen was abducted by predators who reached out to him through an online gaming app.

FOX13 spent the day with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. They shared some suggestions on what to watch out for when it comes to kids and the internet.

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Kris Crim, Prevention Director at Memphis Child Advocacy Center, said one of the problems is apps are changing so fast and there are so many new ones that they are hard to keep up with.

“I think it is important for parents to know that any app can be used to approach children,” he said. “Be it as simple as dropbox or Snapchat, children are using apps that most parents don’t even know about.”

FOX13 asked Crim at what age should a child be given access to the internet, either with a phone or a laptop.

“That is certainly a personal decision for each family and parent to make, but I would say regardless of the age you choose, it is important to have safeguards in place to protect them,“ Crim said.

He suggests using parental controls and knowing who Is online with your child is key.

“I think it is important for parents to realize the dangers parents face in the real world are the same dangers they can face online,” Crim said.

Memphis Child Advocacy Center offers a number of classes where parents can learn techniques like how to see if a child is a victim of sex abuse and how to keep them safe from predators online or offline.