Teen's Family Speaks about Internet Dangers

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

A Lauderdale County man was recently charged with the crime of "computer luring" that involved a 14-year-old boy. The youth's family spoke publicly Thursday about Internet dangers.

Angela Williams says her family has always been very upfront about Internet safety. She has the passwords to all of her children's accounts and checks them frequently.

One day, several weeks ago, the safety-conscious stepmother said she saw something that raised her suspicions.

Curious about who would be talking to her son on Facebook in the middle of the school day, Williams logged into Kevin's account and saw a long-running conversation that immediately disturbed her.

Christopher Shelton of Lauderdale County has been charged with computer luring because, according to authorities, the conversation never moved past the computer.

Williams said she feels confident that she stopped the communication before if could go any further.

On the other hand, Kevin was left confused and scared. He says he only allowed the man to be his Facebook friend because they had mutual friends. And he says Shelton's messages quickly turned to Christianity and other religious topics.

What scares this family is the speed at which Kevin gave out personal information, without even knowing what he was doing.

If you are new to the whole social networking trend, here's what you should know. Your child could have an account with the two most popular sites, MySpace and Facebook. They can also receive mobile alerts from many networking sites directly to their cell phones at any time of day. Authorities say it's a good idea to monitor who your children talk to on a daily basis.

Now, when Kevin logs onto the Internet, it's in the family room, with his parents even more cautious about who he's talking to. And they want Kevin's story to serve as a wake up call to other parents who think it could never happen to their child.


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