Local police warn parents about dangers of Pokémon Go, other social media apps

Local law enforcement officers are warning parents about the dangers of social media.

New social media apps seemingly popping up every week could be putting kids in danger.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more, kids are using countless online platforms to connect with friends. With each new social media connection, experts say it’s crucial for parents to monitor their kids’ online activity.

A recent survey by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows nearly 50% of kids ages 10 to 17 admit to giving their personal information to someone they didn’t know online.

Another issue is sexting. According to advocacy group Enough is Enough, it’s now the number 6 health concern for kids, and it’s a problem locally too.

Winterville Police Corporal James Brown says officers download the latest apps kids are using to get familiar with them.

“It’s not just the content that’s being put out there, but it’s the safety. A lot of people don’t understand when you take a picture with a phone, it records the GPS location and with a simple app, I can tell exactly where you took that picture which will give me where you live,” Cpl. Brown said.

A new app, called Pokémon Go, is soaring up the charts and is raising some eyebrows over whether it puts kids in harm’s way. It encourages people to wander through their neighborhoods and explore new areas, using the app to locate characters.

Local law enforcement officers are warning parents about this app, after criminals in Missouri used it to lure victims into an armed robbery.

Cpl. Brown says his department is also concerned about distracted driving and walking.

“We see a lot of people already walking around with their face in their phones not paying attention to what they’re doing. Depending on where some of these locations are, you might walk out in the middle of a highway and get hit by a bus. I mean you never know,” Cpl. Brown.

Pokémon Go is just one of the apps Winterville Police officers plan to address as part of a Social Media Safety Workshop for parents. It’s happening Tuesday night at 6:30 in the Winterville Community Room, located at 2593 Railroad St. It’s free and open to the public, but participants are encouraged to register in advance by calling 252-756-1105.

[Source:- 9 Wnct]