Bedfordshire Police is marking Safer Internet Day by urging parents to speak to their children about the consequences of speaking to people online.
The force is encouraging parents and children to be vigilant when using certain apps and websites.
Apps like MyLol and Yellow allow people to virtually meet other people and are marketed at teenagers. But with no age verification process, they can be used by adults wishing to prey on young people.
Detective Chief Inspector Emma James said: “We know that it is not uncommon for people to use apps designed for teenagers to specifically target young people and groom them online, which is why we’re urging parents to strike up a conversation with their children this Safer Internet Day.
“Speak to your children about the websites and apps that they are using, and set some ground rules with them as well as checking their privacy settings and the age restrictions on the social media sites they use. Explain the possible consequences of talking to strangers online and the importance of keeping personal information private.”
Safer Internet Day is a global awareness day that raises awareness of online issues from cyber-bullying to social networking.