Many people turn to the internet for fun and relaxation, but what happens when you strike up a conversation with the wrong person; someone searching for sex. In Georgia alone there are about 19,000 registered sex offenders, but when you log onto the world wide web, that TMs exactly what you TMre getting; predators worldwide. The Dougherty County Police Department TMs Internet crimes against children unit works everyday to catch online predators. The adults behind the 13-year-old profiles say one quick chat can end in a sexual encounter. And while shows catching online predators offer entertainment for viewers at home, for some families, this is reality. Amanda West works with victims at the Lily Pad Sane Center and says she~s seen firsthand how dangerous social networks can be. "It can all happen really quick. We TMve had some that in a matter of months it went from just chatting back and forth, to come meet me, and it escalated into other assault type issues,' says West. To help keep your kids safe, officials recommend moving the computer from bedrooms to more public areas. But since computers are a window into our homes, it TMs important for parents take extra precautions and teach kids other internet safety tips.
Officials say making sure kids keep the viral world separate from the real world is most important.