1. PocketGuardian: New App to Help Parents Detect Sexting and Cyberbullying

    As a clinician who is very interested in prevention, I always have my eye out for new strategies or ways to help parents be aware of what their children are doing online and on their smartphones. We all see enough news stories to know that, though not all children are sexting, a large enough number of kids are sexting, bullying and being bullied that we all need to be aware. This morning I heard about a new app developed by two dads from Maryland who both happen to be software developers. According to an interview on CBS DC, the dad's were inspired to create this app after hearing about and di…Read More

  2. Meerkat and Meerkatroulette

    I have been seeing Meerkat pop up a lot lately on the Techcrunch blog (http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/16/meerkatroullette-is-chatroulette-for-meerkat-because-meerkat/?ncid=rss) I follow. I try to keep current with the app world and how it might affect my clients or the children of my clients. When today's headline on the Techcrunch blog stated (Meerkat Roulette is ChatRoulette for Meerkat), I started clicking on things for more information. First some background. Meerkat is a new video streaming app for iOS systems that allows the user to livestream video. It is similar in function to Skype or …Read More

  3. Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet: Some companies start to get it

    Last week's tech news reported that some companies in the tech/app/web world were starting to implement precautions designed to keep children from accidentally accessing inappropriate or adult content. You Tube announced the launch of YouTubeKids. This is an app available for ios and android platforms specifically designed for kids. The app has kid friendly content such a Jim Henson TV, National Geographic Kids and other kid friendly YouTube shows. The YouTube kids app will filter for kid friendly content algorithmically and will also have a staff team that will manually sample videos on the s…Read More

  4. SnapChat Safety Center

    News across the tech blogs yesterday informed us that Snap Chat has partnered with three non-profit safety organizations to help raise awareness of the safe use of its app. They also launched a safety center (www.snapchat.com/safety) which has sections for users as well as parents. The page is a great resource for adult users. I imagine that the teens are not going to go to the safety site to check things out. There are separate resource pages for community rules, safety and for parents and teachers. The safety section is limited. It does provide a link for setting up privacy settings and a li…Read More

  5. UPDATE: After School App

      According to the Techcrunch blog (http://techcrunch.com/2014/12/11/after-school-app-again-pulled-by-apple-after-more-school-shooting-threats/) the controversial app, After School was taken off of the app store sometime yesterday. It is unknown at this time if the app will return to the marketplace. This second removal comes after yet another round of issues including several youth using the app to make anonymous threats of violence and shooting. Earlier this week it was reported that a student was arrested in Detroit based on threats. What is becoming more clear is that teens (as well a…Read More

  6. New Anonymous App: After School Cyberbullying Concern

      I have not written about new apps for teens lately, as there have not been any new apps that have come to my attention that warrant too much concern. Today, via the blog techcrunch.com, I learned about the new anonymous social networking app targeted at teens called After School. Unlike its predecessor, Yik Yak, whose target audience was college students, the target audience for the After School app is teens. Therefore, it does not carry a rating of 17+. This makes it accessible to any school age adolescent, be it high school, middle school or grade school. Since the launch of the app i…Read More

  7. Hiding from you: Teens love apps they can hide from parents

    Where there is a will there is a way.  This is something often heard in our office.  When we are dealing with trying to limit a child’s access to sexual content in the digital world or trying to create barriers for accountability for someone with a sexual addiction, we must always remember this!  This is particularly true when dealing with parental controls and teens.  As soon as a parent installs some sort of parental control or filtering software, many a teen is online looking at YouTube to try to figure out how to uninstall the filter or get around it.  Trust me, within minutes, the …Read More

  8. Tech Savvy Parenting: Prevention Lessons From Recent Grindr Arrests

    In the past few weeks in the Philadelphia area, where I have my primary therapy practice, there have been a number of arrests related to the hook up application (“app”), Grindr.  On May 1, 2014 a young man was found murdered after meeting someone with whom he connected on the Grindr app.  The person he was meeting for the hook up is a suspect.  Even today, in the news, a man was arrested in Seattle for beating another man he met on Grindr.  The most eye catching story from the Philadelphia area is that of the arrest of a Delaware Deputy Attorney General who is being charged with four c…Read More

  9. Tech Savvy Parenting: Kik

      When I want to know what the latest trends are in technology, I end up asking an adolescent.  We adults inevitably are some of the last to know what is going on in the world of apps and social media.  As kids are moving away from social networking sites like Facebook, they are moving toward messenger apps.  Kik is one of the newer messenger apps that are gaining popularity with teens. Kik (www.kik.com) is a messenger app that is the first smartphone messenger to have a built in browser that allows users to talk, and browse while sharing with friends.  It is available for all smartph…Read More

  10. Tech Savvy Parenting: Facebook’s Friend Locator

    Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) ran a small article about the new App coming to Facebook that uses geolocating technology to allow users to be notified when they are near friends.  This service will slowly be rolled out in the United States on Thursday. According to recent news articles about the app, it has to be selected by the Facebook user so it will not automatically be activated on Facebook.  The app will not display an exact location but will alert the user that a friend is within a half mile radius.  It does allow for a Facebook user to disclose an exact location but…Read More