Parents learn ways to prevent their children from cyberbullying - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parents learn ways to prevent their children from cyberbullying

WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Experts and police are advising parents on ways to prevent cyberbullying and it all comes down to parental involvement.

"Even my child is still young but it's very scary and you have to be aware," said parent Gamal Ally, who attended a course on cyberbullying Wednesday night in Waterbury.

Ally said he was horrified to hear Waterbury detective Peter Morgan talk about some recent cases including cases of sexual intercourse being filmed.

"You're seeing an epidemic of kids harming themselves based on what their peers are saying about them all over the Internet. It's hard to keep up," Morgan said.

With the number of bullying related suicides rocketing, Morgan said it's up to parents to step up the game.

Eyewitness News talked with Scott Driscoll from Internet Safety Concepts about how to prevent cyberbullying.

Driscoll said there are four social networking sites that every parent should know about and they are Snapchat, Ask.fm, Instagram and Kik.

The worst of these sites is Ask.fm and Driscoll said there is nothing "positive." The app users can ask questions with telling the other users, who they are.

Many users of Snapchat believe that once they send a picture, it deletes in seconds. However, Driscoll said in the policy for Snapchat, it clearly states that they are hidden. 

Kik, which is a messaging app that is based in Canada, so Driscoll said if a crime is committed on the app, it will be difficult for United States police to help.

Users can post threatening messages and graphic images on Instagram, and sometimes, it can take days before they are taken down.

However, there are at least two items that can help parents prevent their children from suffering cyberbullying.

AppCertain is an app that can be added to a child's phone or tablet to help parents monitor their activity without them knowing it. The app, which is in Ghost Mode, features a curfew mode that shuts off certain apps at certain hours and not allow certain apps from being downloaded. 

Even if your child deletes the app, it doesn't get rid of the program.

OpenDNS can be placed on a route in a residence and uses the home's WIFI to block inappropriate material from phones and tablet.

Morgan also said parents need to know all passwords and codes.

"Privacy is not their issue. Their safety is their issue," Morgan said. "You can't take that as an answer that I want to be private in what I'm doing. No absolutely not."

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