WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) — In Eastern North Carolina, some parents are concerned about their children’s well-being and the use of social media apps.
“Every day there is someone saying something all because of the fake Kik,” says Shenika Gilliam.
Gilliam’s seventh-grade son has become a target online. That has translated into real-life violence in school.
“It’s over Kik,” Gilliam says. “It’s picking. Someone made a fake account.”
Kik is a messaging app that allows people to connect and chat without having to identify themselves directly. Gilliam says the user is posing as her son and instigating fights with other students.
“The person that made the fake account, they’re going around talking about people’s mama,” says Gilliam. “Some student had a parent that died a few years ago and they’re talking about, ‘That’s why you’re Mama’s dead’. But they’re basically talking about kid’s mama.”
She says those comments have led to in and out of school suspensions for students involved. Gilliam is monitoring her son’s social media use and even made him delete his real Kik account. She is trying to work with other parents as well.
“I’ve talked to everyone possible that I could think of to talk to,” she says.
Bertie County Schools says it has a technology policy that protects students from cyber-bullying while on campus. The problem is the conversations on Kik usually happen behind closed doors. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the parents. It’s important to keep a close eye on your children’s social media profiles.
The Best Buy Geek Squad recommends the following apps to help parents keep a better eye on their kids:
- MSpy– Parents can monitor incoming, outgoing calls and texts, see what apps are in use, # of contacts, GPS.
- Spy Bubble– Most used for harassment. Can see photos posted and the comments made back to it. They didn’t say if it was for social media or normal texts.
- Phone Sheriff– Sets time limits on apps
- Mobicip– Can restore deleted items, block apps like chat sites. Has a “high school limit” to block anything 18+ including dating apps.
- Momma Bear– Mainly for children new to phones. Can also track speed limits in cars.