Following the arrest of a Buellton man accused of using a social media app to meet up with teen boys for sex, cybersecurity experts say there are some things parents can do to help protect their children when it comes to social media and technology.
Greg Scott Ray, a 52-year-old yearbook salesman, was arrested Tuesday by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office after investigators served a search warrant at his home.
Sheriff’s officials would not reveal the name of the app Ray is suspected of using because they say their investigation is still ongoing, but detectives believe he had been using it for several years.
On Wednesday, the California Cybersecurity Institute at Cal Poly released these online safety tips for parents:
- Respect age ratings on games, apps, and websites (enable website category blocking as needed)
- Use control settings, apps, account partitions, and/or software that monitors the activity of your child, restricts access to certain applications and websites, controls access times, and sends reports when something explicit is accessed or sent. Recommended: Qustodio, Norton, and ESET
- Learn/teach good password management, use password management tools, and disable photo geotagging
- Communicate about issues such as sexting, sextortion, and online predators
Sheriff’s officials have reportedly identified three victims in the Ray case but say they’re concerned there could be others. The known victims are from the Santa Ynez Valley and between the ages of 13 and 17.
Yearbook company Friesens issued the following statement after learning of Ray’s arrest:
We are aware of news reports as to allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of an Independent Sales Representative who has worked with our company in California. Friesens is deeply troubled by those allegations. That individual was not an employee of Friesens Corporation. We have taken immediate action to terminate his independent sales contract and we are in communication with all schools with whom he dealt. Our thoughts go out to those who are affected by this.
Ray remains in Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by Ray or knows of a potential victim is urged to call the sheriff’s office at (805) 681-4150. Anonymous tips can be made online or by calling (805) 681-4171.