Attorney General brings Cyber Crime fight to Houston

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott brings his efforts to educate parents on how to protect their children from cyber-criminals to parents in Sugarland. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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David Boatright is Chief of the Attorney General's Criminal Investigations Division, and he says before the advent of the Internet, child predators were relatively easy to catch, but not any more.

"You know they depend on the anonymity of sitting behind a computer screen to stalk our children. Where in the past they would actually have to come out to a park or a mall, now they can sit in what they believe is the safety of their own homes and prey upon our children."

Boatright says parents have an obligation, and they have the right to know what their children are doing on their computers and where they're going on the Internet. The first thing they can do he says is to once and for all get the computer out of the kids' rooms into a part of the house where everyone can see it.

"The parents have got to be in a position where they can monitor that Internet activity and be aware of who their child is speaking with or communicating with over the Internet. Keeping the computer in a common area of the home is one of the most important things and one of the best proactive steps that a parent can take."

Beyond taking away the private use of the computer, Boatright says parents must develop honest two way communication with their children.

"Communication with your child is so important, and to communicate with a child about the dangers of the Internet goes a long way to helping to provide a safe on-line environment."

There's more information on what the Attorney General is doing to fight cyber crime -- especially child predators -- in a link on our website KUHF dot org. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.