Presentation helps parents understand potentially dangerous web apps

Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-02 00:31:16-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Granite School District is helping parents keeps kids safe while using smart devices to get on the Internet.

Some of the apps on your phone - like Kik and Snapchat - are making it easier for children and teens to send inappropriate messages.

"I`m learning a lot about Instagram and Kik and Whisper and Vine and all these things I didn't know existed," said parent Becky Van Derbeek.

To help parents learn more about those potentially dangerous apps, Granite School District offered a presentation on ways to help better monitor and protect kids in a tech-based world.

"A variety of apps that I had no idea were out there, I knew of a few. And I found out about a whole lot more that I need to be aware of and watching for on my kids' devices," said parent Wendy Whatcott.

District spokesman Ben Horsley has given the lecture twice now, and that there are dangers in place we might not expect.

"We wanted to provide parents the tools and resources to be able to help them know how to approach and talk to their kids about these topics," Horsley said. "I don`t think that people think about Twitter and think, 'Oh there's a problem with pornography there,' but we do find by and large that the kids are tweeting or texting inappropriate content."

Horsley says one of the most important things is for parents to be involved and have important conversations with their children.

"Parents, by and large, when their kids get to the teenage years, kind of turn off the parent button and become a friend, thinking that`s the only way they`re going to be able to communicate with their kid. Parents need to realize their kids have plenty of friends on social media - they have hundreds of friends. They need a parent in their lives," he said.

Even if it seems like your child isn't abusing the technology, Horsley says it's still important to talk about the seriousness of what gets posted online.