How to protect your kids against cyber predators

Lieutenant Joel Morales

Technology grows at the speed of light and children right along with it.

But when is enough, enough?

How do parents protect their children from people they cannot see from behind a screen.

"When they give them access to the computer they need to sit the child down and set the rules for the child, Lieutenant Joel Morales with the McAllen Police Department said. Explain what they can and can't do and explain they will only have limited access. You need to follow through on this."

Morales told Action 4 News that while that do not have a specialized unit that deals specifically with cyber crimes, they do see their share.

He said it is important that the parents set boundaries when it comes to letting their children surf the web---especially social media sites.

"That's where the parental filters come in, Morales explained. They should inform the child that this is a privilege that they're giving them and that they should be safe when accessing the internet. Parents should monitor the child when they are on the computer."

When it comes to talking to children about the dangers that can lurk on the Internet"Morales said the most important point would be.

"Tell the child to never agree to meet a person, they met online, in person," Morales said.

That is allegedly what happened to a 12-year-old boy earlier this month.

According to a court document 32-year-old George Tinoco befriended the child on and on

The child claimed he gave Tinoco his personal cell phone number and later met him at La Plaza Mall.

From there the boy said Tinoco took him to a motel and raped him.

The 32-year-old was later arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

His bond was set at $100,000 dollars.

To avoid something like this from happening, Morales said parents need to monitor what is going on 24/7 and just be honest with the child about the consequences that can follow if they reveal too much online.