Advice for parents when predators troll on social media

Heavy computer use has been associated with a number of vision problems. (AP)

WASHINGTON — A sickening attack is also a teaching moment for parents about social media use, according to Laurie Nathan of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Two men sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl from Laurel, Maryland, which started by communicating online. The girl met one of the alleged attackers on Instagram, and it eventually led to them meeting up in person.

“Teens are going to make friends with individuals online that they don’t know in the real world. But we want to make sure parents are aware of that,” Nathan says.

She offers one tip: parents should have regular check-ins of their kids social media communications.

“In order for you to have this page, I’m going to have to be viewing it frequently whether it’s once a week or once a month,” she says to tell teens.

One of the alleged rapists is a convicted sex offender.

Read more tips on Social Media Safety For Kids.

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