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 had the opportunity to present today at the Hudson Valley NYSCATE Conference. It was exciting to present all my endeavors in the realm of cyber safety. Reflecting on my presentation I think next time I am going to separate the student/parent approach and focus on one theme.
Additional information and resources used for my presentation can be found here.
I am also planning for some community classes, so please stay tuned!
Creating a Google Alert
One fantastic tool for your digital parenting arsenal is the "Google Alert." The Google Alert was originally created for consumers to monitor the Web for new content on a specific topic. To create an alert, first decide on the search criteria, then enter a few more parameters about the search results. Once complete, the alert will notify the user if new information appears on the Web fitting the search criteria.
What does this mean for parents? Well, parents can create an automatic search engine that will notify them when any type of media is tagged with their child’s name. In the age of digital parenting, this type of tool is a must. And better yet, it is free.
Here is how you do it:
1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
2. Enter your child’s name in the first search field. Use quotes to make sure the name is searched as a complete phrase and not separate words.
3. In the "Result type" field, select "Everything."
4. In the "How often" field, select the frequency by which you would like to receive notifications.
5. In the "How many" field, select "Only the best results"
6. In the "Deliver to" field, type in the email address to which the notifications will be sent.
7. If your child has a commonly used nickname, you may want to create an alert for that name as well.
If you need any further assistance or have questions, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Website www.transparentlyteaching.com.
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.