Be There: Staying Safe on the Internet

Be There: Staying Safe on the Internet

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Parents listen up! If your young child has a cell phone or tablet, a technology expert has a warning for you.

Are you putting the Boogeyman in your child's back pocket? That's a question Jesse Weinberger asks about 90,000 students and their parents each year.

"People don't realize by gifting a device to their kids, kids have this in their pocket and you've given them the keys to the kingdom," Weinberger said.

Weinberger says that kingdom includes a world of sexual predators-- 1.5 million of them are online at any given moment.

"So everything from the actual Boogeyman in terms of sexual predations to cyberbullying to the child putting themselves in danger by sexting," Weinberger said.

And the consequences are scary and unbelievable.

"The new age of onset of pornography consumption is 8 years old, addiction is 11 and I'm seeing sexting starting in the fourth grade," Weinberger said.

She also has a contract that parents and their children sign – if for one offense, if they break the rule, a hammer goes through the phone. She also says the appropriate age for a cellphone she is 14.

Wienberger spoke to Muscogee County parents at the RiveCenter on Monday.  She just released her new book "The Boogyeman Exists," detailing the dos and don'ts for kids and cellphones.

Copyright WTVM 2015. All rights reserved.