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Tech Talk-Apps Used for Bullying?

Parental vigilance needed
        Unfortunately, cyber bullying appears to be widespread in our country.  Many parents do their best to monitor well-known sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  But parents -- listen up, there are some other popular sites out there where children may become the target of bullies.
        Parents are usually the first line of defense for stopping cyber bullying.  The key to prevention is knowing where to look and staying up on the online trends.
        There are a few new sites you'll want to check out -- because they've see a big uptick in bullying online.  Lesser-know apps like ask dot fm, kik and Snapchat.
         The reason why bullying seems to be growing on these apps?  Because a lot of them allow anonymous posts -- so the chatters can take on different online identities.  And Snapchat messages can vanish after a certain period of time -- so there's no online trail.
         While many of these sites are still largely unknown to parents, they're known widely among tweens and teens.  This means there's little chaperoning online which is what has authorities worried.
         The sites say they're doing what they can to stand up to bullies.  Ask-fm says it's updating safety and privacy policies.  It wants to ensure it's "abuse and inappropriate content reporting systems are among the most effective in the industry."
         A spokesman for Kik says the safety of it's users is paramount.  It's developed a parent's guide providing information about "how parents can help their teens have a safe experience on the site."
        Snapchat says it also has safety features in place.  It offers a guide for parents that includes information how to protect their children online.
        If you're a parent who is not really tech savvy, experts still say -- do your research.  Also -- enlist the help of other parents or friends.  They may be up on the latest trends and newest apps and sites your children may be using.
        Ultimately, the key is communication with your children.  Ask them what sites and apps they're using.  Open a dialogue -- so they know the expectations and can help identify bullying themselves

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