Snapchat presents new danger for kids and texting - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Snapchat presents new danger for kids and texting

Posted: Updated:

By Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Caroline Emerson, 21, said she just downloaded Snapchat, a new app that sends pictures.

"People are talking about it and it's a featured app on the App Store, too, because it's free," she said.

Here's how the app works: users take a picture, and then pick a receiver. You can choose how long they'll be able to see the photo and then hit send.

Next, it appears on the receiver's phone. You hold down the label and it shows for the chosen amount of time.

"I doubt most people look into it because they probably think, 'Oh they can only view it for so long. It'll go away. It's fine.' I'm sure people use it to sext and send pictures of themselves to other people," Emerson said.

But police said there can be longer-lasting consequences. People could record the screen or take a photo of the photo.

Charleston Police provided a few tips for parents:

  • Work with your kids to set rules for smart phone usage before you buy the phone.
  • Block or turn off certain features on the phone.
  • Talk to kids about consequences of sexting.
  • Remind your child to talk to you if they receive a naked photo or sext.

Parent Alan Donald said he talked to his 16-year-old son about sexting, but he knows he can only do so much.

"The problem with teenagers sometimes is they don't see cause and effect. They do something, don't think about the effect down the line. That's our job," he said.

Emerson said her parents never talked to her about sexting, but she's learned the dangers by example.

"I know in high school a lot of girls got in trouble, it went around the whole school. The administration found out. They got in trouble. You can get in trouble with your job," Emerson said.

You can find more tips for talking to your children about sexting on www.netsmartz.org.

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