School administrators and social workers are urging parents to monitor their children's interaction on the Kik app, after a neighbor of slain seventh-grader Nicole Lovell says the 13-year-old met her alleged killer on the app.
"Without parental involvement ... checking children's phones, tablets, computer ... it is really dangerous," said SAFEchild Executive Director Cristin Deronja.
Every month, Deronja treats a number of teens in Wake County who have been abused or victimized on social media. She say Kik has become popular among teens as well predators, who can easily lure in their victims under the radar.
"It's almost impossible to track the communication," Deronja said.
The app is free and similar to Facebook. Users can send messages, photos, and videos. The major difference is you can communicate anonymously.
The people who run the app tell ABC11 that "Kik cooperates with law enforcement to combat child predators anywhere in the world, either upon provision of a court order, or in emergency situations such as this one."
Deronja said she feels it's a parent's job, not just a company's responsibility, to regulate their children's use of certain apps.
"That just needs to be part of your family norm," she said. "This is a very easy way for them (children) to connect with someone and for someone to connect to them and take advantage of them."
The principal at one Wake County elementary school recently sent out a letter informing parents of the app and warning them it may not be appropriate for children.
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