SAN ANGELO, TX - According to the Texas Human Trafficking Hotline, over 1,000 calls reporting human trafficking were made in Texas this year alone. Some predators turn to social media to find their prey. Now Facebook is launching a new app meant to help keep your children safe.
"You want to make sure that they're not sharing every post publicly that instead they're sharing to only their friends," said Morgan Tuttle, director of community engagement at the Child Advocacy Center in San Angelo.
The new messenger app targets kids 13 and under and allows parents to control who their children can and can't accept friend requests from.
“It’s so important for them to know, not everyone is nice out there and people will come to you disguised as a friend," said Tuttle.
The app also disables kids from deleting private messages.
“These predators are really smart; they're looking for that child that looks lonely, who may need a friend, they're looking for that child that’s posting about conflict with parents,” said Tuttle.
Messenger kids won't give the young users a separate Facebook account, rather it’s an extension of their parent's account.
“Just be involved even if you have to sign up for one yourself,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle also adds it's important to communicate with your child.
“Make your child comfortable, so that if someone approaches them and makes them feel uncomfortable they need to share that with you,” said Tuttle.
And it all starts with a conversation at home and parents getting involved.
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