It’s important for student leaders and parents to be aware of what their students are looking at on their phones! Here are five things to know:
1. Your kids are using Facebook and Twitter.
These applications (and their website components) are a given, but don’t just assume your kids are using them responsibly. Have healthy conversations with your student about sharing personal information, friending strangers, and online bullying.
2. Snapchat is not innocent.
Just about everyone knows about Snapchat these days, but it is constantly being updated to provide more services. Snapchat allows users to send a picture to someone else that disappears after ten seconds of opening, but users can screenshot images to share with others. The addition of live video chats that disappear opens up even more ground for students to be exposed to (and expose others to) inappropriate content.
3. Omegle is not a safe place for students.
This app has been around for several years and allows users who do not know each other to chat anonymously as “You” and “Stranger”, which puts students at a high risk for receiving inappropriate content from predators. The app also has a “Connect to Facebook” feature to allow users to find others to chat with that share common interests.
4. GPS Tagging and Location Services put users at risk.
There are many apps (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, photo apps, etc.) with GPS tagging that allow other users to see your location. Make sure your student has GPS tagging turned off within all apps, especially those used to chat.
There is good news for parents of kids and students with iOS operating device. Apple revealed Monday that iOS8 will send a notification requiring permission from parents when a child tries to download an app using a credit card. While that will help control content students have access to, it’s important for student leaders and parents to keep an eye on what their students are looking at on their phones!
Katie DeCillo is the marketing strategist for Lifeway Students. She serves at her church, Mosaic, in Nashville, TN.