LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - A wake-up call for parents of teenagers: there's a new study out that finds that one in three teen girls say they've set up meetings with people they meet online.
Researchers in the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, followed 200 girls between the ages of 14 and 17. Half of the girls who actually met up with online strangers were found to have been physically or sexually abused in the past year.
This unsafe internet activity is concerning many parents like Maria Alameh of East Longmeadow, who realize that they need to keep up-to-date with ever-changing technology.
"Just for us parents to keep ourselves educated, to talk with other parents, and to reach out to the community to see what we can do to protect them," she said.
Experts say that risky online behavior can be reduced if parents check and see what their children are posting online and who they're talking to. Installing internet-filtering software was not found to be effective.