- Family 411: Junk food vegetarians
- Family 411: Grandfamilies
- Family 411: College vs. Retirement Savings
- Family 411: Teenagers and stress
- Family 411: Online Safety
- Family 411: Local woman overcoming heroin addiction now Ph.D. candidate
- Family 411: Help for infertile couples, IVF becoming more affordable
- Family 411: Campus sexual assault crimes
- Family 411: Technology helps seniors be independent, gives adult kids peace of mind
- Family 411: Letters from Mom
- Family 411: Losing weight to stay alive
- Family 411: Dead Serious About Life, teens share survival skills
- Family 411: Coats for the homeless
- Family 411: Blue Star Mother, a military Christmas
- Family 411: Author writes about proof of angels
- Family 411: Gifting with meaning
- Family 411: Push to extend foster care to age 21
- Family 411: Holiday Genealogy
- Family 411: Too much celebrity exposure
- Family 411: Online safety for kids
- Family 411: Career Change
- Family 411: Breast cancer survivor creates fitness wear
- Family 411: Learning off the grid
- Family 411: Female financial advisor
- Family 411: Coping with college stress
- Family 411: Simply your life
- Family 411: Homework Help
- Family 411: The "Sandwich" Generation
- Family 411: Tackling the football debate
- Family 411: Dressing teen girls
- Family 411: Tackling the football debate
- Family 411: Helping children deal with grief
- Family 411: Back to school savings
- Family 411: FFA Organization
- Family 411: Strain on foster care system
- Family 411: Nip, tuck, I do
- Family 411: Surviving without Social Security
- Family 411: Working from home on the rise
- Family 411: The sandwich generation
- Family 411: Fatherhood
- Family 411: There's an app for that
- Family 411: Kids financial future
- Family 411: Book by local woman teaches tolerance
- Family 411: Entitled Kids
- Family 411: Cash in your diploma
- Family 411: Helping teens find jobs
- Family 411: Extreme Teen Drinking
- Family 411: Drunk Driving Moms
- Family 411: Sleeping Apart
- Family 411: Medical Prejudice
Family 411: Kids and smartphones, protecting children from internet dangers
CINCINNATI (Sheila Gray) -- Ever hear of Skout? How about Chat Roulette?
Strangers who want to get to your kids could be as close as those apps on their smartphones. We've all heard the warnings about watching our kids on the computer but now those computers are in their pockets.
"They can change the operational software. They can change or hide what they're doing," Dr. Art Jipson said, a Sociology and Criminology professor.
Candace's 13-year-old daughter Anna uses her smartphone to connect with friends.
"She texts, and a little bit of Instagram," said Candace.
Lots of kids connect on apps like Instagram along with Facebook, Snapchat, the lesser known Skout and countless other chat apps.
"There's a lot of information being shared when people think they have privacy," Dr. Jipson said.
Criminal experts say young people, and even parents, don't always fully understand how easily they can reveal their identity and location. Candace didn't know that her daughter's phone can actually communicate with the apps on it, even when she's not using it. Did you?
Predators do and criminals have used random chat apps to geolocate their targets.
13-year-old Anna said, "It never asked me my age or if I had my parents permission."
Internet security firm Mcafee did a recent survey of kids. More than half said their parents know only some of what they do online. About a quarter said their parents don't have time to check.
Parents need to know the latest software, know the latest apps. You can turn off location services on the phone or the apps in its privacy settings. Click on each app to see if it is accessing the phone, info or pictures. The free app "Lookout" will warn you about security risks, tell you how to improve security settings, and even tell you which apps are tracking and revealing your location.
And don't forget to talk to your kids. Experts say communication is better than any software. Experts also say this generation of kids thinks it's completely natural to share everything about their lives online. So be sure to talk with your kids about what's appropriate. And it's not a bad idea to spend some time with the owner's manual for your kids smartphone.
Follow Sheila Gray on Twitter @SheilaGrayTV and LIKE her on Facebook