Fitchburg teen's death puts internet safety in spotlight


Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013 --- 9:25pm

It's tough news for Alice Larrue to swallow. The remains of her daughter, 18-year-old Aprina Paul, were recently found in a fire pit in Rock County. Nathan Middleton admitted, to police, he burned her body.

"This is like in the movies to me. I still can't believe it” says Larrue.

Middleton told police he met Paul, last month, through an online ad for sex. He says they texted back and forth, picked her up in Fitchburg, then brought her back to his house, all unknown to Larrue.

"If y’all could please, please, for me, tell somebody where you're going. Tell somebody who you're with” Larrue said at a vigil for Paul this past Tuesday.

It's frightening for parents to imagine their kids falling victim to a situation like this, even more now today with the increased use of social media.

"I think we're seeing a whole new world of meetups that we've never seen before” says Kristin Uttech, a social media professor at Madison College.

Uttech offers several tips for parents on how to protect their kids online.

Tell your kids to:
1. tell friends and family where they're going
2. bring they're cellphone.
3. meet in a public place

It may seem like common sense, but here are a few more tips, offered by the FBI.

1. Keep the computer in a common room in the house.
2. Utilize parental controls and blocking settings
3. Always maintain access to the child's on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail.

For more resources on internet safety for children, head to www.staysafeonline.org or www.onguardonline.gov


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