Parents encouraged to talk about youth internet safety

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Parents and youth are encouraged to attend an internet safety session on Thursday evening. 

ICT SOS and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force of the Wichita Police Department will host a "Cyber Aware" session. It will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the University United Methodist Church, 2220 North Yale. 

Detective Heather Huhman of ICAC will talk about the importance of appropriate and inappropriate communication online, while encouraging parents to talk to youth about internet safety.

"There are predators out there, even some teenaged, school-aged predators, that we don't realize are there and they work much, much harder to fit in, to gain the trust and confidence of these kids," said Huhman.

Recently, a local modeling agency was made aware that someone created an Instagram account, using their photos and website, and contacted young women.

"It's frustrating because we have several people come to us and say, 'Hey, this doesn't look right. Is this right?' and we can say, 'No, absolutely not. You need to stop and cease communication with these people.' But for all of those people, there's so many out there who don't check into it," said Alleigh Allen, owner of Models & Images in Wichita.

Huhman reminds parents that if you or a child is contacted by a business, then you must verify if it is indeed that company.

"If it's not, immediately cease contact with them. I would never encourage anyone to send photos or send personal information unless you have initiated contact with a reputable company," said Huhman.

For a link to resources from the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County, click here.

To view a parent-child agreement for digital communication, click here.