Police issue warning for kids using social media

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

If you have children, they likely have a cell phone. That phone connects many of them to social media, a concern for many parents.

"I keep saying my smartphone will always be smarter than I am," said Sandy Cooper.

She's raising her 13-year-old grandson and came to a meeting with police Wednesday night to learn better ways to monitor his use online. 

"My grandson comes home and shows me how to do things. And he doesn't even have a smartphone," she said. "So I don't know where they learn all of this but he is steps ahead of me."

It's a trend police want to help parents curb, to protect their children.

"There are bad people out there, and if we don't do our jobs as parents, our kids are going to be manipulated," said Wichita Police Sgt. Jeff Swanson. He gave a presentation at Wilbur Middle School, focusing on key ways parents and guardians can monitor online activity.

He cited the case of a student in Wichita last year, who went missing from school one day, later to be found in Tennessee. That was one of three cases where a teenager met someone on social media, met them in person than traveled out of state with them.

Swanson also warned parents of the potentials for cyberbullying and human trafficking.

"Parents should have the password to every account your child has... without exception," Swanson told the crowd.

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