HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- Do you know what your children are doing online? Many parents think they're on top of it, but more dangers are lurking in innocent apps, and even video games than you may realize.
Statistics show one out of every five teens has been in contact with a child predator online. Predators are no longer just using popular social media apps like Facebook and Twitter to lure their victims. Police say they now use popular messenger apps and even gaming sites.
"Parents should be aware of any type of gaming app where your child can communicate with anyone through these platforms. They also have messenger systems," explained Lt. Michael Johnson with the Huntsville Police Department.
Predators are lurking everywhere and authorities say they have had cases in Huntsville.
"We had a case here a while back where an individual from Atlanta used a gaming system, a gaming site to communicate with an underage girl and he traveled this direction. We ended up getting some criminal charges on him," said Johnson.
Johnson said gaming sites are a newer, unexpected danger space for children and teens.
"You're playing against someone for competition purposes and especially our children, they aren't thinking about it, but they've got to remember it's still a window to the internet," Johnson said.
Police said the best thing parents can do is be engaged with what their kids are doing on electronic devices.
"Find out what exactly they are doing. What gaming sites are they on? Find out if they are communicating with individuals other than just playing the game," Johnson added.
Officials said being vigilant could spare your child from being a victim of an online predator.
You can read more about the popular apps teens are using here. is a website that continually updates teen slang of the day. You can check out some of the latest lingo here. You can find other common lingo used by teens at sites dedicated to family safety.