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Smartphone stranger dangers: Parents urged to monitor kids' devices

Law enforcement are urging parents to monitor kids' devices (Alex Derencz | abc33440.com)


Nowadays, almost everyone has one. It's considered to be a great technological advance with harmful effects. Yes, we're talking about the smartphone.

"If your child has a smartphone, you really need to be checking in daily to find out how it is being used and make sure it is being used responsibly," Chief Assistant District Attorney of Shelby County and Executive Director of drug prevention coalition Compact 2020, Alan Miller said. "We've seen these smartphones as a convenient way to communicate, but in many ways, it can make your job as a parent much more difficult."

Miller said apps like Omegle, Reddit and Vice are marketed as beneficial communication tools, but they can enable child predators. Miller urges parents to set restrictions on their child's smartphone so they can monitor the ratings of videos their kids watch or apps they use. He said parents need to check in on their child's phone, but more importantly, parents need to monitor how much time their kids use smartphones, how the apps are used and how other people are communicating with their kids.

Ashley Crumpton, mother-of-three, is the Deputy Director of Compact 2020. She uses certain apps that allow her to monitor what her kids are doing on their phones. She said taking those precautions have paid off.

"Seeing what I see in my work life, it is even more important to me to have those restrictions for my kids," Crumpton said. "They don't have that filter at that age. Their [brains are] still developing, and as parents, we have to be that filter for our kids. They are getting information off of social media from their friends that they are taking as the gospel, when it may not be the truth."




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