How do you keep your child from getting lured and exploited on the internet? That was the focus of an Internet Safety Seminar at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport Monday night. The seminar was headed up by Keith Dunn, a former cop who has appeared on national TV shows to discuss the problem.
"I just created a profile of a 12-year-old girl this morning, and I'm actually on line now prior to the program, and I have about 30 sexual predators from all over the country between the ages of 20 and 50 who want to come me meet me, who they think is a 12 year old girl," Dunn said.
If you think your child can't be lured in by a cybernet predator, think again, Dunn says.
"I did a show with a beautiful young girl named Alicia, who actually met a man in Pittsburgh and drove her all the way down to Virginia, which I tell the story during my seminars. All she could remember was a 16-foot dog chain because she stretched her neck out over an inch, or about half an inch in order to reach the computer to sign on and off to be rescued," Dunn said.
Dunn is a member of the national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. At the meeting in Gulfport, he shared some startling stories and statistics, including the fact that one out of five children using computers will be asked to meet in person.
"The problem really stems, and we have to reach home, and we have to hit the problem in the roots, which is in the house," Dunn said.
Dunn is urging parents to educate themselves and their children about Internet safety because education is the best deterrent against cyber predators.