Monitor your kids’ online and video game activity, mums and dads!

This is the important message that authorities want all parents to hear after 24 men were arrested for allegedly attempting to lure minors through social media and video games.

Want to know what’s even scarier? These online predators are targeting some of our kids’ favourite apps and video games (including Minecraft and Fortnite). As a mum with a son who LOVES both these games, this recent news is frightening to say the least!

24 online sex predators caught, but plenty more still out there

As explained by New Jersey attorney general, Gurbir Grewal,  all 24 men in this case come from New Jersey, but this kind of awful activity is taking place all over the world, including Australia. Among those arrested were a police officer, nurse, firefighter, and college students as well as a registered sex-offender.

All of the men were charged with second-degree luring while some also face additional charges including sexual assault.

Apps and video games being targeted

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal shared a list of the social media apps and games that child sex predators target including:

  • Tinder
  • Grindr
  • Live.ly
  • Musical.ly
  • Whisper
  • Skout
  • Omegle
  • Chat Avenue
  • Chat Roulette
  • Whishbone
  • Paltalk
  • Yubo
  • Kik
  • Hot or Not
  • Down
  • Tumblr
  • Discord
  • Fortnite
  • Minecraft

Of course, some of these apps, like Tinder and Grindr, are not for children. But many are. He also shared this very important message to all parents:

It’s absolutely critical for parents to familiarise ourselves with these apps. Just as you are vigilant about a stranger approaching your child in a park, you need to be equally, if not more vigilant, about the dangers lurking in these new cyber playgrounds.”

It’s news like this that sends chills down our spines. But it’s also important to be aware that these sorts of things are happening. Mums, if your kids, tweens or teens are using these apps or games, monitor their online activity, especially the chat functions in popular games and apps.

You can never be too careful.

For more information, please see our guide on staying safe online.

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog, partner and baby #3 who is currently taking up residence on her bladder. When she's not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

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