KINNELON, New Jersey (WABC) --It is a huge worry for parents: Kids having unfettered access to the internet and all the darkness that is sometimes on it.
"I read every comment, every follower, and I had to approve every follower, it seemed safe," Jenna Triano, a mother in New Jersey.
It's a false sense of security Triano is still reeling from after her 10-year-old daughter and several classmates at Stonybrook were recently targeted by an online predator.
"She accepted the direct message when he said 'I am a friend of' and mentioned her friend's name she assumed it was safe to open the door," Triano said.
The stranger, posing as a 13-year-old boy from Ohio, sent several direct messages and illicit photos on Instagram to Jenna's daughter, which she managed to intercept just in the nick of time.
"The string of messages went from little kid innocent to adult vile in three messages," Triano said.
The messages ranged from "if you were my girlfriend would you do absolutely anything I ask?" to "do want to learn something new? It feels really good" before asking if the young girl was familiar with a sexual act.
Triano screen shot even more vulgar messages and photos and quickly called police who have since confirmed several young girls were contacted by the same individual.
"You beat yourself up in the beginning and then you start to say I'm not sure how much sooner I could've caught it," Triano said.
As police remain on the hunt for the pervert behind these messages, school officials are reaching out to parents via email and social media encouraging them to be vigilant.
"I don't want this to get by anybody else because it almost got by me too," Triano said.
If you believe your child may have received an inappropriate message from a stranger, contact police immediately.