Protecting kids from internet predators and human trafficking

Parents looking to protect their children from sexual predators online received some eye-opening information Monday night.

An organization dedicated to stopping sex and labor trafficking hosted a forum at J.H. Rose high school.

One thing made clear is that the internet makes it easier for predators to target kids, so parents were the ones learning how to be social media savvy and pay attention to signs that a child could be in trouble.

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, virtually all internet sex crimes involve young people age 12 or older.

Pam Strickland, founder of "ENC Stop Human Trafficking," sponsored a presentation on internet safety.

Strickland says, "We are very much focused on preventing kids from being trafficked and we feel like one of the best ways to do that is to educate the kids parents on one of the primary ways they get trafficked or get hooked up with predators is through the internet."

Nimasheena Burns from the North Carolina Department of Justice gave parents advice, including an explanation of internet language, knowing which social media websites a child may be on, and even creating your own profile to let your child know you're present online as well.

If you missed Monday night's presentation, there will be another one at D.H. Conley Tuesday starting at 6 pm.