LAKE STEVENS, Wash. -- Cyber bullying, online threats, and predators -- those are just a few of the things parents have to worry about when their kids start to become active on social media.
But one Lake Stevens mom may have found a way to help.
Kelly Sammy started really thinking about social media earlier this year, when the body of 18-year-old Summer Smith was found just a few blocks from her home.
“Her parents didn't know what she was doing and who she was involved with, and she ended up in the wrong hands with the wrong people.”
Kelly is a single mom. Right now, she feels like she knows everything her 13-year-old son, Declan, is doing online.
“He has to have given me the password for anything he has. He knows I review it, he knows I look at it.”
But there are constantly new websites and apps that he’s using.
“Some of my friends like to use this thing KIK, so I use that sometimes,” Declan says.
He admits sometimes kids bully each other on social media sites.
“That hasn't happened to me, but I’ve seen it happen to other people. Where people just write really mean things on their photos and what they say and stuff.”
Kelly worries that apps also make it easier for online predators to connect with vulnerable teens.
“It’s no longer that guy stalking around the playground, it's the guy sitting behind the keyboard.”
So a couple weeks ago, Kelly decided she had to connect with other parents who are also trying to protect their kids on social media.
“I said Facebook, I’m going to use you for good.”
She started the Snohomish County-Protecting Our Youth group, and shared the techniques that have been working for her.
“I will not allow him to have his own iTunes account. So every time he downloads an app, I know about it.”
Other parents are now posting what they’ve learned. Kelly found out about new apps like Omegle and Whisper.
“You’re just basically texting back and forth, but there's no history of it, it all wipes away,” she says. “There are very, very scary apps out there right now.”
She hopes more people will continue to join the group, so parents can keep up with all those apps.
“It’s not a place to commiserate, it's not a place to vent, it's more a place to share and understand and grow and be a conscious parent.”
Kelly wants to share this link about some of the sites and apps that are popular with kids: Click here for the link (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/15-sites-and-apps-kids-are-heading-to-after-facebook)
Parents who live in Snohomish County can join her group by clicking here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SnoCountyWaProtectingOurYouth/)