Dangerous Apps For Kids - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Dangerous Apps For Kids

With the recent release of the iPhone some parents may be thinking about upgrading and handing down their cell phone to their kids, but before you do we have a few safety tips.

The apps kids download onto their cell phones can be used to text, take photos, videos and interact via social media, but some apps could be putting your child at risk.

Some popular ones are Snapchat and Kik messenger, these platforms allows kids to message and send photos to each other, but one doctor believes these apps can make kids think they can send inappropriate pictures without consequences.

Users of these apps often view them to be trusted platforms. However, as recent events have discovered putting your trust in these apps can lead to dangerous consequences.

Dr. Joe Austerman, a Pediatric Psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic Children's explains, “A lot of these applications tout themselves as being one, anonymous and two that these photos will be destroyed, but we've learned very quickly that kids learn how to save these photos and keep a permanent record of them."

He said that's the dangerous part. Dr. Austerman said your children may not even know that they may be putting themselves in danger.

For best practices, Dr. Austerman said anytime your child wants to download an app you should research it and see how it works. Experts said, asking your kid to explain how the app works will allow you and them to create dialogue, which then you the parent can ask questions that may alert you of certain dangers.

Experts said it is important for parents to monitor their kids' interaction when it comes to using the internet and apps on cell phones.

Some experts believe the latest trend in apps, Geo-tagging, the ability to track a person's geographic location when posting a picture, video or even sending a text can also be putting children at risk.

When this setting is enabled, it allows apps to give the exact coordinates wherever the person using the app is located.

"You need to know what is out there and it is ever changing, so you have to keep yourself educated,” said Dr. Austerman. “You need to let your child know the dangers of these apps and educate them on what the dangers of these applications are."

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6
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