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•    Always ask your parents' permission before using your full name, address, telephone number, date of birth, school name, or parents' work address anywhere on the Internet.

•    Always tell your parents or other adult you trust if you see something online that is scary or that you don't understand.

•    Never agree to get together with someone you "met" online without your parents' permission and without an adult along.

•    Never send a picture, credit card number or password over the Internet.

•    Don't respond to any message that is mean-spirited or in any way makes you feel uncomfortable.  It isn't your fault if you get a message like that.  If you do, be sure to tell your parents so they can contact the service provider.

•    Talk to your parents about the time of day you can be online, the length of time you can be online, and the appropriate areas you can visit.  Do not break these rules or access other areas without their permission.

•    Be a smart consumer in cyberspace.  Not everything you see or hear may be true.

•    Be a good citizen online.  Do not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law.

These rules are adapted from the brochure  "Child Safety on the Information Highway" and are available free by calling  800-843-5678.


With several recent reports of arrests made after online predator and human trafficking stings, law enforcement officers around the country are reminding parents of school age children about potentially dangerous apps their kids could have access to. 

The apps include well-known social media and dating apps like Snapchat, TikTok and WhatsApp, as well as location-based dating apps like MeetMe, Grindr and Skout.

Apps parents should know about, according to law enforcement

MeetMe: A dating social media app that connects people based on location. Users are encouraged to meet in person.
WhatsApp: A messaging app that allows texts, video calls, photo sharing and voicemails with users worldwide.
Bumble: Similar to Tinder, but requires women to make the first contact. Law enforcement says kids and teens can create fake accounts and falsify their age.
Live.Me: A live-streaming app that uses geolocation to share videos. The sheriff's office said users can earn "coins" to "pay" minors for photos.
Ask.FM: The sheriff's office said this app lets users ask anonymous questions and is known for cyberbullying.
Grindr: A dating app geared toward the LGBTQ community based on user location.
TikTok: A new app popular with kids lets users create and share short videos. Law enforcement said the app has "very limited privacy controls" and users can be exposed to cyberbullying and explicit content.
Snapchat: One of the most popular social media apps in the world, Snapchat lets users take and share photos and videos. The app also lets people see your location.
Holla: This self-proclaimed "addicting" video chat app lets users meet people in seconds. Law enforcement said users have seen racial slurs and explicit content.
Calculator+: Police say this is one of several apps that are used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
Skout: A location-based dating app that is supposed to prohibit people under 17 from sharing private photos. However, police say kids can easily create an account with a different age.
Badoo: A dating and social media app where users can chat and share photos and videos based on location. Police say the app is supposed to be for adults only, but they've seen teens create accounts.
Kik: Police say kids can bypass traditional text messaging features using this app. Kik "gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime," the sheriff's office said.
Whisper: An anonymous social network that lets users share secrets with strangers. Police say it also shows users' location so people can meet up.
Hot or Not: The app lets users rate profiles, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. Police say the goal of the app is to hook up.