What’s on your kid’s device?

Apps+like+Marco+Polo+may+seem+like+fun+for+kids%2C+but+there%27s+more+tha+meets+the+eye%2C+and+parents+should+know.

Julie Norris

Apps like Marco Polo may seem like fun for kids, but there’s more tha meets the eye, and parents should know.

Leah Farber, Staff Writer

In this day and age smart phones are everywhere, and most kids are on their phones.

But, do parents know what they are doing?

Health teacher Mrs. Lori Nayman is like most parents. Her kids own electronic devices, and she’s not thrilled that they do. But one thing that she likes is that she can monitor and control what apps they are on.

“They are not allowed to be online (web or Youtube) on their personal device, only on our family laptop.” said Mrs. Nyman.

There are plenty of apps that target young audiences their advertising dollars, like YouTube Kids, which uses kid-friendlt programming to target young consumers.

The New York Times says that getting rid of an app is like playing whack-a-mole, particularly because many young people maintain multiple accounts with varying levels of secrecy, while Anne Collier, the founder of iCanHelpLine.org states that monitoring and surveillance control aren’t always the most effective way. It’s really best to have a human way of monitoring the situation.

That’s where parents come in.

Civics teacher Mr. McNaul, who has a two year old son, can agree with Mrs. Nyman. His son doesn’t use a smartphone yet and he probably won’t for a long time, Mr. McNaul said.

“My child will not be allowed to have a electronic device when he gets older,” said Mr. McNaul

Mr. Goodman, B-A’s Earth Science teacher, has kids who are 8 and 14 years old. His children have electronic devices and he monitors and knows what apps his kids are on.

Parental monitoring is very important because there are apps out there that could be dangerous for kids for multiple reasons.”

Parental monitoring is very important because there are apps out there that could be dangerous for kids for multiple reasons.

Yellow, which has been called “Tinder for teens” (swipe right if you want to become friends with someone; swipe left if you don’t), uses a geo-locator.

Marco Polo is a closed messaging app. Children can talk to strangers through the app. The problem is that the videos are easily deleted. So if your child was sexually harassed or bullied through Marco Polo, chances are the user will delete the video and parents won’t have proof.

And there are many more apps that could be equally as dangerous, including a number listed in this article on child internet safety. So, keep an eye on what your kids download on their electronic devices to make sure they stay safe.