Sexting is one topic a parent can not learn enough about. The digital avenues that teens use to compromise themselves continue to pop up with new apps. Parents need to understand how to monitor and stop their children from possibly ruining their online reputations or worse-themselves.
Words to know:
Sexting- the transmission of sexually provocative, nude or partially nude photos. This often happens via cell phone or other mobile device.
SnapChat- an app that allows the sender to transmit an image that will disappear on the recipients phone after a prescribed amount of time.
Thanks to SnapChat, some teens think it's safe to take risque pictures and transmit them because they believe the pictures will be destroyed before being circulated. The fatal error is that anyone can take a screenshot within the time it takes for SnapChat to destroy an image (For example, on an iPhone just holding down the home button and sleep buttons at the same time will take a screenshot). The image can expire via SnapChat but the copy will remain on the receiver's phone.
Major legal issues arise with sexting that need to be taken seriously. In short, any time a teen (under 18 years old) takes a nude or semi nude picture of him/herself that teen is now in possession of "child pornography". Once that image is sent to another's phone that same teen has now engaged in trafficking child pornography as dictated by the law. It is important to reiterate that a teen can be arrested for even transmitting a picture of him or herself. There are many instances now where teens who have engaged in this behavior have been labeled as a "Sex Offenders" and must be registered as such for the remainder of their lives.
What steps can parents take?
1. Know the unlock code for your child's phone and check pictures and texts regularly. If this does not seem feasible then I strongly recommend investing in monitoring service like BSecure.
2. Password protect the App Store Downloads, so your child must go through your approval to install an app on their device. You do this by tethering the device to your email and not the child's. (This and a monitoring service is best investment of time and parents will not have to manually check their teen's phone repetitively)
3. Google "Controversial, Apps, teens" or a keywords similar to this and check child's phone to see if they are currently using a problematic app.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in my 'Comments'
(Disclaimer- this is a cross-post from my work blog)
Image Source: Technorati.com
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.