Fotosearch_Cheating_k19153317As reported by Fiza Pirani of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Finista, the latest social media platform gaining teen attention, is a combo of the words fake and Instagram. As she explains, “It is essentially a fake second Instagram account cultivated for a much smaller, private audience… As opposed to a real Instagram account (Rinsta), it features a much more unfiltered experience.”

And that should be a red flag for parents, for all of us.

More popular with girls than boys, it offers “a safe space from nosy family members, educators, or even future employers.” Like Facebook, many Instagram posts paint rosy versions of users’ lives; that, however, is not the case with Finista. There, posts reflect the real deal but are hidden from adults who can intercede and pull the plug–like parents.

Its allure is that it protects against “the widespread media coverage of social media gaffes,” says Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor of communications at Cornell University. And that’s all well and good, but there’s a downside to Finista, too, as some participants post not just their scandalous or sexual behavior but engage in cyber-bullying, too.

For parents: More angst and a warning, too!

Unfortunately, Common Sense Media and Survey Monkey found that just 52%  of parents feel they really know what their kids are doing online–and with Finista, you gotta wonder. As for 884 kids in the survey, 15% think their parents track their online behavior vs. 30% who said their folks are very aware of their digital activities.

Bottom Line: Take heed!