An average teen spends about 9 hours a day and police say, parents should be aware of what apps they have on their phones.
The Panama City Beach Police Intelligence Unit is doing its best to educate Bay County about the dangers of the internet.
“There are people online that think they can remain anonymous and try to hurt our children and it’s our job to track those guys down and bring them to justice,” said Lieutenant J.R. Talamantez.
Lieutenant Talamantez says parents should let their kids know the freedom of a cell phone comes with responsibility. “When you give them a cell phone, you’re giving them access to the world. They see anything they want to see, talk to anybody they want to talk to and experience anything they want to experience. If you do that and give them that type of technology without having a conversation about ethics, you’re setting them up for failure.”
He says the best defense against the dark web is to be informed.
If you think your child may be communicating with the wrong person, here are some signs to look for. “Suddenly they become more private or say if your child suddenly starts to receive gifts at home. Stuff from Amazon you know you didn’t pay for. Or your child is dressing like they haven’t dressed before.”
Talamantez says if you come across an online predator, gather as much information as you can and contact your local police.