"Friend Verifier" app protects teens from online predators - AmericaNowNews.com

"Friend Verifier" app protects teens from online predators

  • "Friend Verifier" app protects teens from online predatorsMore>>

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A new app for Facebook users could bring some much-needed relief to parents and others who worry about sexual predators connecting to loved ones via social media.

The problem is many teenagers see their friendship count as a way to gauge popularity, so they accept friend requests from people they've never met before. That's where this app comes in.

Once downloaded, the Friend Verifier app can scan your current friends and any friend requests against every single sex offender registered in the United States.

But it's important to keep in mind that there are other options. You can report a sex offender directly to Facebook. Or each state's law enforcement agency allows you to search your address, so you can see where registered sex offenders live in proximity to your home.

Facebook's policies clearly state that convicted sex offenders are not allowed to register for an account, but that's really based on a good faith system. Facebook tells us they do have an "automated system in place that searches for suspicious activity and they check user names against the sex offender database on a regular basis."

Cyber crime experts say apps like this one should never replace the due diligence and common sense practices suggested for use of Facebook, MySpace or even online dating sites.

The possible down side to these apps is that they may cause Facebook users - especially kids - to become more complacent with their own privacy and security.

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