New Phone Apps Present New Dangers For Kids And Families - WSET.com - ABC13

New Phone Apps Present New Dangers For Kids And Families

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Lynchburg, VA - "Parental control" means more than just monitoring your child's internet and TV usage. Nowadays, it means making sure their phone interactions are safe, as well.

Under the Child Online Protection Act, social media sites are supposed to not allow children under 13 to have an account.

Charley Butcher at Lynchburg College says the sites aren't just dangerous for young kids, it's against the law.

"You have to provide a birth date. And if you falsify that information, you've now broken the law," Butcher said.

New apps are coming out that make it easier for kids to communicate, without their parents knowing.

Apps like Snapchat grew in popularity, because of their claim of keeping your photos anonymous and disposable. However, Butcher says that claim simply isn't true.

"Snapchat actually stores all the pictures on their server, and they own them, and they can actually sell them. A lot of people don't know that, so you got to be very careful about what you send," Butcher said.

Additional chatting apps, like YikYak and Whisper, allow anonymous chatting within your geographical area, making it easy for potential nearby predators to chat with unsuspecting kids.

Jennifer Witt knows it's a battle, but it's one she's tackling head on.

"Actually, to be honest, we just had to take the phone away. Just putting things on there that shouldn't be on there," Witt
 said.
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