A good chunk of Coloradoans have taken to Facebook thinking it is completely harmless, but the fact is danger may be lurking.

Facebook is great for keeping up with family and friends, socializing, expressing opinions, and sharing laughs. But, for predators, Facebook is a way to prey on unsuspecting teens as well as the elderly.

The Denver Post has a story about a South Carolina man who was just sentenced to 30 years in prison for using Facebook to victimize six Colorado teenagers. The man, Christopher George White apparently used Facebook, text messages, and telephone calls to threaten the teens into committing sex acts.

When used correctly and prudently, Facebook is not dangerous. It's kind of like driving a car. Take precautions, be careful, be aware and you're not going to get hurt. But, it only takes one slip-up to cause harm.

A word of caution to parents of teens and children who are Facebook regulars. Make sure you know who your children are interacting with. They may tell you it's none of your business, but as long as you are a commissioned guardian over their well being it IS your business.

It's not about being nosy, invasive, or controlling. It's about watching out for your precious children because they can't always watch out for themselves. At times they do display a lack of good judgment.

Some good advice is to restrict your kids' Facebook interactions to people they know. That is the best way for them to stay safe and avoid a potentially harmful situation like this predator from South Carolina. You have to believe for every pervert that gets caught, there are 10 more still in operation that is possibly targeting your kids.

Talk with your kids and explain the dangers that exist on the internet. Good communication is the key to helping them understand why it is so important to exercise caution when putting yourself out on social media.  Most people on Facebook are good, normal people, but don't think for a minute there's not a ton of predators lurking and on the prowl.

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