Tampa Bay web expert: Parents should check kids' online profile - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay web expert: Parents should check kids' online profile

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If you see a kid, chances are a cell phone or computer isn't far away. Tweens and teens are connected to their devices and their friends 24/7, if allowed. That means parents have to be a new kind of observant.

Robyn Spoto is the President of MamaBear. It's an app that not only keeps track of your child's location, but also their social media presence. "It's awareness. It's being in the know and not being afraid of what you're going to find if you find something," she said.

Spoto says parents can't make assumptions that their kids are making good decisions on line. She often speaks at Bay-area middle schools and hears a lot about what's really happening.

"I've heard stories from these middle schools of children creating profiles for other people, with their pictures, and they're posting pretending to be this other child."

Kids having multiple profiles is also prevalent, according to Spoto. The one they want their parents to see and others they don't. It's one more reason Spoto says parents need to be pro-active.

She recommends that you Google your child's name, check their phone frequently, ask questions and initiate conversations about who they're friends with online and who they are following.

Spoto says kids should be worried about their on line reputations and so should their parents.

"That will follow them. They try to go to the private high school. They want to go to that college that has been on their list for all of their life. Harvard, I know, has rejected people because of their social reputation."

Learn more: www.mamabearapp.com

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