Lawmakers and law enforcement talking online safety in Naples
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
With social media surrounding virtually every aspect of our lives, Southwest Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is raising awareness about online dangers. He said sexual predators use the internet as an opportunity to pounce.
"We go to such great lengths as we should to protect our children from strangers to making sure our doors are locked at night. What we don't realize in many cases these predators are already in our homes." Said, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) FL 25th district.
Congressman Diaz-Balart said they come from everywhere in all different shapes, sizes and sometimes in the form of people you trust. Last month, Pine Ridge Middle School teacher Clint Rickelmann was arrested for allegedly sending several pages worth of sexually explicit Facebook messages to an under-aged former student. Congressman Diaz-Balart said those allegations serve as a prime example of why parents can never be too careful.
"These bad apples, these very very dangerous predators in many cases are already potentially communicating with our kids they already have access to our children." Congressman Diaz-Balart said.
He said knowing your way around the World Wide Web, being active on social media, could be a savior.
" The percentage of children that are approached by predators online is exceedingly high and the number of those kids that tell their parents they've been approached online is very low. We have to do everything we can to learn about it, figure out ways to prevent it before it's too late." Congressman Diaz-Balart said.
Authorities said if you notice your children involved in any kind of suspicious activity online, don't hesitate, call law enforcement right away.