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Organization warns of hashtags that attract child predators

Posted at 11:14 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 14:14:56-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Gin Cheney is mom to four-year-old Nathan. She knows that she is the first line of defense in protecting him both in the real world and online.

"I'm always worried about if there's a pedophile out there or some creeper. I don't want them looking at my kids the wrong way," Cheney added.

Cheney calls her privacy settings on Facebook 'extreme,' limiting who can see her posts to family and friends and skipping the hashtags.

"I've found that it brings more attention to that photo, profile, or information that you're handing out to everyone," Chaney said.

Carly Yoost, CEO of the Child Rescue Coalition, praises Cheney's 'pause before you post' approach. She suggests avoiding hashtags like #PottyTraining101, #KidsBathTime or #NakedToddler.

The Child Rescue Coalition aims to protect children from sexual exploitation. They've helped law enforcement arrest over 11,000 child predators.

They released this list of hashtags that predators will search online giving them an all-access pass to your children's photos.

"It could be over-exposing our children online and also making them searchable for predators to find these pictures," Yoost explained.

The Child Rescue Coalition uses technology that helps them identify computers that are in possession of illegal child abuse material. They pass that information on to law enforcement.

"In just the state of Nevada and just the last year alone, we've seen 479 targets that are specifically and individually trading illegal content," Yoost said.

Yoost says out of the people who are online trading illegal materials of children, 85 percent of them have already been a hands-on abuser of children in real life.

According to Child Rescue Coalition, the average parent posts 1,500 photos of their child before the age of five. The organization asks moms and dad to think carefully about privacy settings before they hit 'send.'

"Is there information in these pictures or in the messages that I'm posting that is over-exposing information about where they go to school, where they live, or their identity which can lead predators to finding that," Yoost said.