Privacy is something we all want in our lives, but being able to have total privacy is not always a good thing. When this dad invaded his daughters privacy he learned it was well worth the argument.
Children in their teens today have become a lot more closed off from their parents because of technology. Most teens focus on developing their own sense of identity within their groups of friends, which often means that they tend to distance themselves from their parents. The question is, how do we know when privacy has been taken too far?
Scott Jenkins is the loving father of two beautiful daughters, both of whom he would do anything for. As with any parent, Scott noticed a change in his daughter Haylee’s behaviour. She had distanced herself from her father – “she was becoming secretive and sneaky,” Scott exclaimed on Scary Mommy. To most parents this may not seem like strange behaviour, but in fact it was a sign of something worse.
Many parents monitor their young children’s online activities and Scott was no different. From time to time he would see some discrepancies such as – time lapses in conversation and deleted images. Most might have turned a blind eye but Scott’s intuition told him otherwise.
One particular night, Scott had a real bad feeling. He had no cause to do so, but he knew he needed to check his daughters iPad straight away. What he uncovered that night on th iPad was both shocking and heartbreaking as well as downright nauseating.
His daughter Haylee had been having conversations with a 15-year-old boy named Bruce. As with all teens, Bruce loved the thrill of meeting new people online. Haylee became part of Bruce’s virtual group where she was introduced to other people and their online profiles. Young Haylee believed she was conversating with people her own age but she could not of been more wrong.
While scanning through his daughters iPad, Scott discovered a lewd picture. “The sexy pose set my red flag on fire,” Scott said. “So my digging turned into a manhunt, checking everything in all her accounts.” What he done might seem nosy to his daughter, but what he done ended up saving her life.
Scott done some digging on the profiles of the young boys Haylee was chatting with online. He discovered they were secondary accounts of actual fully grown men deceivingly acting as young boys. Scott immediately informed the police of what had been going on. A Cyber Task Force from Portage Police Department arrived to analyze all the technology in the house. Seven months passed by with no reply from the investigation, then Scott received a phone call that chilled him to the bone.
“Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, can you and your family please come to the police station as soon as possible?” This was the call where Scott learned just how close he was to loosing his daughter forever.
Bruce was unknowingly part of an elaborate human trafficking scheme. “His was the first safe face that our children see,” a heartbroken Scott revealed. “He was unknowingly luring young girls into his circle as prey for the men to pick and choose from. The circle of Bruce’s friends list reached the globe, and his over 2,000 followers were nothing more than a smorgasbord of young, unaware children whom these men were chatting with. Our children.”
This shocking and very alarming story is a reality check for parents everywhere. It is of the utmost importance to keep children safe online and monitor them on social media accounts. Heed Scott’s wise words, “It’s worth the upset it may cause your children to keep them safe.” If you do not feel comfortable monitoring your children, then you can get a friend or professional to help. Think of what may have befell young Haylee if Scott had not taken the steps to look at her iPad! He may never have seen his daughter again.
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