Christiansburg PD, Aware Foundation to host child internet safety course

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Keeping young kids safe online is the goal of one investigator with the Christiansburg Police Department.

“Technology is at our fingertips and we are giving our devices to children at younger ages,” said Moe McClanahan, an investigator with Christiansburg Police.

“It’s just really dangerous.”

To shed light on social media dangers, McClanahan has partnered with the Aware Foundation and will give a free course to parents on internet safety Thursday.

“What I’m finding here in this community is that there’s a lot of sexting, which is taking naked pictures of themselves, and sending it to each other,” said McClanahan.

“From that, there’s a lot of bullying that’s coming from our peers.”

McClanahan says one of the most concerning dangers is grooming and sextortion, blackmailing children into sending more naked photos of themselves to strangers.

According to Guard Child statistics, about 70 percent of kids regularly receive online communication from a stranger and don’t report it to a trusted adult. Another 725,000 have been asked for sex or to meet in person by a stranger.

McClanahan says she hopes classes like this one will bring more awareness to the issue.

The free class will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Blue Ridge Church in Christiansburg.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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