Monitoring Online Presence A Big Step In Keeping Teens Safe, Tul - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Monitoring Online Presence A Big Step In Keeping Teens Safe, Tulsa Expert Says

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TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa mother could face criminal charges after police say she helped her teenage son sneak a 14-year-old girl out of a middle school basketball game.

News On 6 reported on Thursday that officers found the girl after a search that lasted nearly 24 hours.

Sand Springs police believe she met the boy through a dating website.

The holidays are upon us and parents probably are wrapping the smartphones and tablets right now.

But experts say there are things you should do before handing these gadgets over.

12/10/2014 Related Story: Missing Ponca City Eighth Grader Found Safe At Teen Boy's Tulsa County Home

Three weeks.

That's how long the 14 year old had her smartphone before she met a boy online and ran away, her grandmother said.

She met up with him after traveling from Ponca City to Sand Springs to play in a middle school basketball game Tuesday night.

Police found the teens together a day later. Surveillance video at the gym shows a boy and an older woman picking up the girl, handing her clothes to change into, then taking off and leaving her coach and teammates to search for her.

The coach noticed her missing just minutes after she disappeared, and the school called police in Sand Springs.

It was a scary situation for police and the girl's grandmother, all while highlighting the dangers of kids being online.

And it's something that's getting easier and easier with more minors using smart phones and tablets.

"I get daily phone calls from parents who don't understand technology but really want to understand it better because their kids have really out-paced them or just stay in it more often than they do, so parents are looking for answers,” Damon Doremus said.

Doremus works for JD Young Technology and said there are things parents should do before handing over these devices.

"So know the kid's username and password into the iTunes store, approve or disapprove their purchases so that you're involved in the purchases, and you're involved in the type of content they're viewing on the iPhone, also allows you to track the iPhone if you know the username and password," Doremus said.

Some devices have restriction settings--something Doremus recommends customizing.

Removing access to explicit content, limiting access to adult websites and games and setting passcodes to certain features.

But Doremus said overall it's not easy once kids have these types of devices, and they have the world at their fingertips. And it puts more pressure on parents and guardians to keep a watchful eye.

MeetMe.com is the website police tell us the teen was on when she met the 16-year-old boy.

The website shows you can get this as an app on your phone or access through Facebook.

And it's websites like it, where kids can meet anyone, that experts recommend parents monitoring those types of websites and apps.

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