Keeping Your Kids Safe On The Internet

By: Deon Guillory Email
By: Deon Guillory Email

The search for a missing Augusta County girl takes a new turn. The Sheriff's Office said all signs are pointing at human trafficking.

Investigators say Jennifer Romero's disappearance is linked with a Facebook hookup and with new technology connecting all of us, it's harder to get your kids to unplug.

The search is on for Jennifer Romero. The 16-year-old has been missing since last Saturday.

My little girl, she went to her bedroom, to wake her up. She wasn't there," said Ronald Flores, Romero's father.

Nearly a week into its investigation, the Augusta County Sheriff's Office believes Romero may be linked to a sex trafficking ring.

"She'll do whatever they tell her to just to survive," said Sheriff Randy Fisher.

Investigators believe she got caught up in it, through Facebook.

According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 93 percent of teens go online, 75 percent of them have cell phones and 73 percent have profiles on social networking sites.

Parents are always told to put the home computer out in a common area so you can monitor how much time your kids spend on the internet, but if you add a smart phone and a tablet, that means they can go on the web anytime, anyplace.

"Kids are doing Internet work now, just about anywhere they want to and anytime they want to," said internet safety expert Joe Showker.

Showker says having open communication with your kids is the number one key to keeping them away from internet strangers.

"Sometimes the Facebook, especially for teenagers, that's a really dangerous thing," said Flores.

An online connection that now has investigators believing that Jennifer Romero is in trouble.

Showker also suggests that you limit the amount of time your kids are on the internet, go online with them and if they have a cell phone, for them to leave it with you overnight.


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