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Mid-State Man Creates App To Protect Kids Online

Posted at 9:55 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 23:22:48-05

A Middle Tennessee dad has created a social media monitoring program that watches kids' profiles in order to protect them while online.

Mark Adkison's family was one text message too late. 

His 14-year-old niece received an inappropriate picture through text messaging after the conversation took a dangerous turn. Once she received the text, she went straight to her parents. 

Adkison and his brother knew they needed to do something from keeping situations like this from happening. So, they created Zabra. It's a website that allows parents to monitor their child's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If a conversation trips the filters, an alert is sent to parents.

"We're really not about spying on kids," Adkison said ."We're more about empowering adults to intervene and have conversations when things happen."

NewsChannel 5 Cuthbert Langley discussed the site with people during a Facebook live stream.

NC5_CuthbertLangley is live about a new website that aims to protect your kids online.

Posted by NewsChannel5.com on Thursday, February 18, 2016

For parents and teenagers, the landscape of social media has changed quickly. Teenagers send nearly 1,500 text messages a month. Nearly 80% of kids ages 12-17 have cell phones. Nearly 40% of teenagers have apps, like Kik.

That app recently led to the arrest of a Pennsylvania man who was allegedly trying to lure a Murfreesboro 14-year-old to have sex with him. 

Zabra's creators said it's possible for any child to become a victim.

 "It's rampant. You would be surprised at the things you might find on your kid's cell phone," Adkison said.

For more information on how to use Zabra, click here.