Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your children onl - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your children online

There's a new wave of anonymous social networking, serving as a breeding ground for bullies.  (SOURCE: KSLA News 12) There's a new wave of anonymous social networking, serving as a breeding ground for bullies. (SOURCE: KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Parents should be in the know about what apps are on their children's phone.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are some of the most popular social media apps. Now there's a new wave of anonymous social networking, serving as a breeding ground for bullies. Studies show 92% of American teens go online every single day, and it's no secret a significant amount cyber bullying takes place on social media sites.

"There are apps that allow you to be anonymous," said Shreveport counselor and anti-bullying advocate Lamesa Fleury. "They (bullies) want to get on those apps because they don't want you to know who they are, and in a way it's like being a coward, you want to throw a rock hide your hand and still victimize others, and so many of those apps lead the way for that."

Even now, there are apps designed to hide other apps.

"They have apps that are anonymous apps or calculator apps that look like a Calculator, but it locks and it hides those apps that children don't want their parents to see," Fleury said.

With technology playing such a prominent role in everyday life, Fleury says gone are the days where parents can plead ignorance to social media.  

"I always tell parents to make sure you're well-informed, the world is changing, society is changing so fast and those apps are changing," said Fleury. "You want to go through your app store and see what new apps they have out. It will give you a description and details about those particular apps, it can be very helpful. If you're synced to a family iCloud account it will let you know which apps have been purchased or downloaded."

If your child wants privacy, Fleury suggests keeping a diary or journal that's not connected to their phones or tablets. 

"There's a difference in invading your child's privacy and being a good parent and checking on your child and making sure your child is OK and making sure your child is doing the right thing. That's just good parenting," said Fleury. "It's not saying every app they download you have to check, but any good parent would check on their child or look into things just to make sure."

Remember no matter how secure you think an app may be, posts can be traced back to the sender. 

"Please don't share something if you know it will be hurtful to someone else because you're playing a part in it, so we want to prevent bullying, we want to make sure that we encourage positivity as parents, and school officials, and just as citizens," Fleury said. "We want to make sure that everyone is OK and that we are doing what we need to do to protect our community."

Fleury also says don't be afraid to report inappropriate posts online, most sites now have ways for users to report inappropriate or aggressive content while allowing you to remain anonymous. 

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