Drug dealers now target kids through social media apps

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Problems like online bullying or "sexting" aren't the only thing parents need to watch out for when monitoring your child's internet activity.

Drug dealers are now targeting kids through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

During a recent investigation, a Daily Mail reporter posed as a teen on social media. It took only five minutes for the reporter to find drugs for sale on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The drug dealers use specific emojis to reach the buyers.

A similar investigation in Chicago involved officers infiltrating virtual "black markets" in secret Facebook groups where drugs and guns were for sale. The investigation ended with more than 50 arrests.

With easy access to mobile devices and internet connections, children can log on to social media accounts from anywhere. There are different mobile monitoring programs that allow parents to set up internet controls for almost any portable device.

Parents can also monitor websites that are visited and set up keyword alerts if something inappropriate is searched.

Some software even sends parents a copy of the photo a child might send to make sure they aren't sending obscene images.

Most of this software is not meant for secret spying. Due to potential privacy issues, teens may need to give their consent before it can be installed on their mobile devices.

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