Wisconsin's Attorney General says making online social networks safer for children is a major part of thwarting sexual predators.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says social networking sites can be a good tool for children to make friends and communicate, but they also have a darker side. Van Hollen says they provide pedophiles with more tools and options for reaching out to children without actually having to expose their identities. He says that can make it harder for officials to monitor that behavior.
Wisconsin is one of several states that recently made deals with the popular networking sites ' Facebook ' and ' MySpace .' Van Hollen says the deal provides an easy way to limit access to children online, and steer them away from dangerous content. The agreements require more steps to verify the age of users, and prevent them from changing that information.
However, Van Hollen says the most important protection still relies on parents. He says efforts will continue to educate adults about the dangers that lurk online and what they should do to protect children. Those steps include limiting access to the Internet and keeping track of where your children go online.
Van Hollen says getting sexual predators off the Internet is a priority for the Department of Justice and he wants to see more funding for those initiatives.