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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - 3 Dangerous Apps You Need to be Aware Of
Thursday, February 21 2013, 07:43 AM EST
3 Dangerous Apps You Need to be Aware Of
DAYTON -- First there is "Smash or Pass," a rating app where teens post pictures of themselves, or in some cases, other people post pics of your teen, and then people on the site let the world know if they would want to have sex with the person (Smash) or not.

"They're kids, I don't like that at all," said Mechele Pritchard of Dayton. "In fact I don't have any words."

Maybe the worst part of the app is that you can leave comments about that person's picture.

Second, you may have heard of SnapChat. It's mainly used by people between 13 and 24. It's known as the "iPhone sexting app," because users believe they can send "consequence-free" photos because they automatically disappear 10 seconds after recipients open them. But there are several ways to save the photos.

"Do I understand once I put my photo out there what that means if somebody asked me to send them a sexy photo or a naked photo?" said Art Jipson, director of Criminal Justice Studies program at University of Dayton.

Teens can access these third-party apps from their smart phones or from Facebook. They often think they have the same privacy settings as on Facebook, but you'll want to tell them that's not the case.

"Information is being grabbed and you don't know where it's landing. That can be a problem when someone who did not have your permission is sharing your information and picture and rating your desirability," said Jipson. "That's something that parents really need to be aware of."

Third, there is the brand new sex app "Bang With Friends." It allows users to pick out the friends they would like to sleep with anonymously. Their friends do the same thing and if they choose each other, they get a private message saying they're a match.

"This one is not just rating desirability but is putting a peer pressure that you need to do something," said Jipson. "Now that I said this about you, you need to sleep with me. For someone trying to fit in this becomes a big problem."

"That is sad. Who takes the time to just sit there and do that all day," said Jennifer Smith of Dayton. "Find something for your kids to do. Get them in some activity. Take them to church. Get them in Bible study. Do something that's safe."

The only reason we tell you about these apps is so you can have conversations with your children about their online activity. That's the best way to make sure they don't fall victim.

"We need to be more proactive than ever before but this doesn't mean parents need to be obtrusive," said Jipson. "We know from research with adolescents in particular the more parents engage in dialogue with their children about their social media use the more thoughtful the children are about their social media use. Instead of preaching or saying "I'm your parent and this is what you have to do," parents should sit down and look at the usage with their child.

Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.3 Dangerous Apps You Need to be Aware Of

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