INDIANAPOLIS, Ind-- They connect people all over the world. But these days, apps are more dangerous than ever before.
At the Kerkof’s home, phones are turned in every night at 10 p.m. to mom Jamie’s room and left there until morning.
“It cut down on that extra screen time, and helped them get a good night’s rest,” Jamie explained.
It was then, when Jamie noticed some unusual text messages on her daughter’s phone.
“I couldn’t understand what she was going through at the time, because I didn’t know.”
It turned out her daughter was being cyber-bullied on the app and website 'Ask FM.'
It allows people to post anonymous comments and questions to a person's profile.
“It seems so harmless at the time, until they get to using and then you discover this is horrible for kids..” she said.
Social media expert Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar says while many posts may start off innocent, they turn ugly and dangerous fast.
“The child is just thinking this person is really nice and is interested in the things I’m interested in, and they are not considering the darker side to it.”
It’s a line is easily crossed when nobody knows who is behind the keyboard.
“The internet is an amazing place and it connects people and lets to create relationships with individuals, but it also has a dangerous side,” Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar explained.
As a parent there are a few things you can do to keep you child safe from strangers, and from cyber-bullying.
Experts suggest having open conversation with your child what apps or websites they are using.
You could also create ground rules so they know which ones are acceptable to use, and how screen time is allowed.