Apps hide ‘sexting’ from parents

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GOLDEN, Colo. – Just because you routinely check your child’s cell phone for evidence of ‘sexting,’ doesn’t mean they’re not doing it anyway.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office is warning parents that an increasing number of teenagers are using mobile apps, such as textfree and textplus, as alternatives to traditional texting, allowing them to send messages or photos “hidden from the eye of even the most diligent parent.”

“Kids as young as 11 or 12 find these free apps that allow them to discreetly hide their communications from their parents,” says District Attorney Investigator Mike Harris. “Many parents regularly check their kids’ cell phones and text messages, but these apps provide another avenue for kids to share sexy messages and photos that most parents don’t even know exist.”

Since teens can often have more than 100 apps on their cell phone, parents have a difficult time distinguishing one icon from another, and often review only the texting feature that came with the phone.

The DA’s Office encourages parents to talk with their children about their online activities and, if possible, limit their cell phone use at night.

“One of the most important things a parent can do is to place curfews on their children’s cell phones, actually taking their phones and placing in the chargers in the parent’s room during the night,” said Investigator Mike Harris.

Related: School sexting investigation started with student seeking help