Social Media Monitoring A New Task For Parents - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Social Media Monitoring A New Task For Parents

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How much do you really know what your kid is up to online?

"I have Skype, Facebook," said 14-year-old Jevon Stewart has already had strangers approach him online.

"I just ignore it, or is just delete them," Stewart said.

For his mom is constantly keeping up with new technology seems like a full time job.

Forget Facebook. These days teens are flocking to apps like-- kik messenger. Ask.fm. or formspring. If you've never heard of them, you should learn.

"It's not just a matter of an invasion of privacy, or "oh mom, you're not giving me my freedom" or anything like that, kids are dying because of the things that are happening online. Kids are killing themselves because they're being bullied, "Stephanie Humphrey said.

Stephanie Humphrey is a tech expert. She says many of these popular apps are may seem innocent ways to connect people but can quickly turn into a virtual playgrounds of inappropriate behavior. Bullying on these apps have been linked to several suicides of teenagers from Florida to Australia.

We logged on to ask.fm. The first 2 profiles we saw clear signs of bullying.

"That cloak of anonymity gives people license to say some very harmful things and we've seen specifically with ask six different suicides with teens around the world because of the types of comments they were getting to the questions they were posting," Humphrey said.

All of the social media sites we mention post warnings and safety tips when it comes to bullying and anonymous users. Parents can't be around all the time but there are things you can do to get more connected to your kid's online habits.

Mike Puppio has 2 kids ages 8 and 10. He and his wife installed keystroke recording software on his kids' computers. Everything their kids do online, their parents can see.

Puppio said, "My wife and I have discussed this and I think that if we are paying the cell bill, than we have every right to see what his communications are and that every keystroke, every text message that he sends out comes through to either one of our phones."

Humphrey says another way to keep kids safe is to do your homework.

"Take the time to maybe take a class, grill your kid daily on "hey, show me how to use this," "show me what this means" or take that extra hour a day on your own to sit on your computer and until you get it, " Humphrey said.

Many smartphone apps have ratings. So you can go into your phone setting and disallow you kids from downloading anything 17 or up, but for Jevon he's already learned his lesson. The biggest deterrent from going places where he shouldn't go online is mom and dad.

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