4 ways predators are targeting kids on Instagram

Posted at 9:19 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 07:49:35-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Instagram has been recently named one of the easiest apps for predators to target kids. But as parents, there are steps you can take to protect them while letting them use social media.

Chris McKenna, Founder of Protect Young Eyes, joined us in-studio to talk about the four ways predators are targeting kids on Instagram.

  • Pedophiles Exploit Instagram’s Comments To Network With Each Other And Fish For Victims
  • Pedophiles Exploit Instagram’s Hashtags To Drop Horrible Content Into Good, Clean Places
  • Predators Exploit Instagram’s Likes (The Heart) To Identify Potential Victims
  • Pedophiles Exploit Instagram DMs (Direct Messages) To groom kids. And They’re Doing It Very Successfully

For parents, here are some ways you can address the problem:

1. If your kid uses social media, including Instagram, be curious and involved. Remember, not every kid misuses these platforms. But, if you know the risks, then get involved and talk openly with your children about how they’re using the app.

2. Use monitoring tools like Barkand Covenant Eyesto monitor their smartphone social media and texting activity. Bark actually monitors images within the app for appropriateness and alerts parents when kids venture into inappropriate images.

3. Talk to your kids specifically about direct messages and give them guidance for what to do if someone tricky reaches out to them.