Keeping kids safe on social media

When Kate's 11 year old daughter Charlie asked if she could have the app Musical.ly she was unsure.

Charlie asked again.

Everyone at school had it except her.

Not wanting her to feel left out, Kate let her have it on her iPad.

Little did she know that it is an app that authorities have described as 'a paedophiles dream.'

Now she wants to warn other parents of what can happen when they don't understand the technology that is in their kid's hands.

On the surface, Musical.ly is an app in which users can make short videos of themselves lip syncing to the latest pop songs to share with their friends.

What many parents don't realise is that it is not only friends who are viewing their children's videos.

"When I looked at her settings I realised her account was not private and on one of her videos there was a perverse comment from a stranger."

The comment appeared to be from an older woman but on social media things aren't always as they seem.

In the UK, one parent took to social media to warn parents about the dangers of the app when he discovered that his 13 year old daughter was being groomed by a middle aged man using a fake profile - he was posing as a 13 year old boy.

Another mother in the UK discovered that her daughter was being asked for nude photos through the messaging function of the app.

What parents should know:

When your child signs up, by default their account is set to public, anyone can directly message them and it could be highly likely their location will be visible to other users.

A discussion entitled 'Social Media, Media and the Pressures on Young People' will be held as part of the 3rd annual Girl To Woman Festival this Sunday the 22nd of January at Lennox Head. It is just one of the workshops that will be held at this whole of community event. For more information see www.girltowoman.com.au



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