Teen trend: What parents need to know about 'Snapchat'
Latest photo-sharing app makes it easy to ‘sext’ friends and send ‘self-destructing’ messages and video.
It’s tough for parents to keep tabs on your children’s’ activity in the digital world. With passwords, it’s possible to access and monitor kids’ Facebook profile pages and photos – a study conducted among 500 social media users revealed that 72 percent of parents have their kids’ Facebook passwords and 43 percent check their pages daily.
But what happens when a hot new photo-sharing app – Snapchat – allows kids to snap and send an image or video that will then ‘self-destruct’ within a window of one to 10 seconds? This kind of one-on-one interaction makes it much easier for kids to hide their online activity from grown-ups.
More on MSN Living: How dogs make our lives betterRight now, the app is mostly used by teenagers ad college students reports 9News.com. "It is a novelty, you use it because people use it with you," Devin Pendergast, a tech-savvy teen from Blaine, Minn. told KARE 11.
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Many teens don’t stop to think about their digital footprint, much less how posts and pictures onit could haunt and humiliate in the future.
"Everything is permanent on the internet. Everything you do leaves an indelible mark," Jake DeWoskin, an IT Security Expert with KDV Technology and Consulting, told KARE 11. He says even if you don't screen grab or "shoot the message" with a different device, there are ways to recover it.
And then there’s the hot topic of sexting, or the sending of sexually explicit messages via cell phone or instant messenger.
"A majority of them readily admit that they're using it primarily for sexting," Tech Savvy Parenting author Brian Houseman told ConnectTriStates.com. "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."
Houseman says, as parents, 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 told ConnectTriStates.com.
Apps will come and go, but the hard truth is that what gets sent over the internet can last forever.
How do you talk with your kids about social media? What kinds of rules (if any) do you have in place regarding content and usage?
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News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to holiday giving, it's the thought that counts, which is why homemade gifts from kids are so treasured by their mothers. Children might not have money to spend on an expensive piece of jewelry or designer handbag, but they do have the time to DIY something special for their number one fan. If you're in charge of helping the little ones think of presents, check out the above list of homemade gifts for mom. From a custom vase to Instagram coasters to Warhol-inspired wall art, we have something for every taste and skill level.
At our household, we have a large, diverse collection of toys. While I’m not as uptight as my husband on what enters our kids’ toy chest, my husband must approve all toy acquisitions mostly because of aesthetics (appearance is important). In our search for functional and stylish toys, the sustainable ones often have the best design, and appeal to the visual and tactile senses or improve fine motor skills such as dexterity and hand coordination. Here are a few of our family favorites that intrigue and hold our little ones’ attention—and look good, too.
Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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