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Police say to randomly check children’s electronics to protect from cyber criminals

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With a keyboard or click of a few buttons an online world is opened, but it can be a dangerous one. With a keyboard or click of a few buttons an online world is opened, but it can be a dangerous one.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –- The internet is one of the greatest technological tools, but it can also be the most dangerous. With a keyboard or click of a few buttons an online world is opened, but it can be a dangerous one.

“Very dangerous -- you never know who exactly you’re talking to,” Molly Milan with The Child Connection said.

Just this week a 17-year-old high school student went missing and is considered endangered by police.

"It's a devastating, frightening feeling to not know where your child is and as the hours tick away, it's horrible,” Holly Gritton said of her missing daughter.

Dana Gritton was seen on camera leaving her house with her cat on Monday. Police said she voluntarily got into a car with Kansas plates, 246-ELQ. They believe she is with a Latin man.

"The thought of what's happening to her, her little kitty cat just makes me sick I can't stand it -- I can't even talk about it,” Holly Gritton said.

Dana's parents think she met the man online.

Molly Milan works with The Child Connection which is a non-profit organization. It uses cadaver dogs to find missing children, but the goal is to prevent a child from going missing in the first place.

“If they don't want to talk and they want to shut down, that’s a sign, that’s a flag,” Milan said.

Some red flags for parents are children spending too much time online, especially at night or a child quickly turning off their phone or closing their computer when someone walks in the room. Police say there are helpful parental control programs but randomly checking their child’s electronics is more effective. It's a rule Milan has with her own children.

“Who pays the bills? I mean you own that computer, you own that phone. Communication is key,” Milan said.

Police add parents shouldn’t be afraid of tough love.

“If they don't have anything to hide it’s not a big deal,” Milan said.

Police also say to look through all apps on a phone because some can be disguised to look like a calculator, which can hide private messages and photos.

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