Two new social media apps have authorities worried - KCTV5

Two new social media apps have authorities worried about potential predators

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FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

With every new app and social media comes more exposure and more dangers. As a parent do you know what Keek is or how Snapchat works? Chances are your children do.

"I can't think of a reason a 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-year-old would need to share a video," Detective Marcus Fizer with the Overland Park Police Department said.

But things aren't that simple. In a world driven by social media, most teens, and even younger, know more about technology than their parents, which is where the problem lies.

"It's not that you don't trust your kids, it's that you don't trust anyone else with your kids' safety," Fizer said.

A new app called Snapchat is creating quite a buzz. It's when a picture is shared between two people, but the sender can limit the amount of time the picture can be viewed.

Police said it's giving kids a false sense of security. They send a private picture of themselves to a friend and they think, after a few seconds, the photo will disappear and that's it. But that's not always the case.

"All the receiver has to do to save the images is record the screen or take a screen shot," Fizer said.

And that private photo is now in the hands of the receiver indefinitely.

Another up-and-coming social media is Keek, which takes things a step further.

"It can be very dangerous if you don't know who has access to it," Fizer said.

A keek is a video no longer than 36 seconds. Much like Twitter you have people follow you and your videos can be posted directly online for anyone to see. Keeking is extremely popular with younger children, the most vulnerable for predators to find and exploit.

"It's just extremely scary that children don't understand the dangers of whether it's a perpetrator that's looking to victimize them or if it's a friend at school or a bully who wants to use that information against them," said Sara Boatwright with Sunflower House.

Boatwright and the Sunflower House aim at educating kids and their parents about social media. She said, with things online always changing, parents need to know what's out there.

"It's important they are familiar so they know how to protect their kids against online dangers and also help to protect their online reputations," Boatwright said.

Both authorities and child advocates said the one constant they hear when dealing with parents after their children were victimized due to their online activity is that the parents didn't know what their children were doing. Police said, when that changes, so will the number of victims they see.

Click here for more on the Sunflower House and what they do to protect children from physical and sexual abuse.

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