Snapchat makes sexting easier for your teen
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:49:45 GMT —
It seems teenagers find new ways to communicate just about every week. And now there's a new app that might be on your teen's phone. It's called Snapchat.
It allows your teen to send pictures. But here's the catch ... When your teen sends the picture, he or she sets a time limit on it, too. After that time is up, the picture disappears.
"It's another way to talk to my friends," Taylor Scarbrough says.
Camryn Frese says, "We take pictures of our faces and our friends together and we send them to each other."
But unfortunately, not every teen is using Snapchat in that way.
"A majority of them readily admit that they're using it primarily for sexting," Tech Savvy Parenting author Brian Houseman says. "In a recent study, 39 percent of all texting teenagers admitted to sending a sexual oriented text message to someone else. Twenty percent of all texting teenagers have sent a nude or semi-nude photograph of themselves."
And with the picture magically disappearing on Snapchat, it makes sending sexual texts, or sexts, even easier. But, the recipient can still screen shot that picture.
State's Attorney Jon Barnard says if your underage teen is sexting, he or she can get in trouble.
"The sexting statues are generally of the misdemeanor variety," Barnard says.
So as parents, Housman says, it's your responsibility to know what your teen is doing even if it's just sending pictures to his or her friends.
"As parents we have to be very vigilant, very engaged to know, what is it our teenagers are using on their phones, and on their iDevices, and androids, tablets, and those kinds of things and how are they using these devices," Brian Housman says.
One way you can keep track of apps on your children's phone is synching your phones through cloud storage -- like iCloud.
Stay tuned to KHQA -- Chad Douglas have an in depth investigation on what the iCloud is and how it works later in the month.