Attention: Parents, Don't Give Your Kids a Cell Phone Until You Read This

Check Out the New Blog You may have heard about “sexting,” a combination of the words “sex” and “texting”, an act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones. CBS reports, “The practice of sexting is shockingly common among teens.” And ABC says, “Sexting teens can go too far.

Some children have committed suicide and others face child porn charges as a result of sexting.

Cell phones with cameras pose a real temptation and there is another serious consideration that parents must know. A cell phone with GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities can serve multiple purposes.

Imagine the child who is quite careful and only uses their camera to send fully clothed and appropriate images to people whom they know. Now imagine that their friend loses their phone or posts an image (any photo) online. Pictures taken on a GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled phone include step-by-step directions in how to locate your child. Sounds scary? It is.

When someone takes a picture and sends it to someone else (or posts it online), the receiving person (or anyone who obtains the photo) can easily view the auto-embedded GPS coordinates and plug them into a mapping program or at a mapping website like MapQuest then 1-2-3 click, they’ve got the location of where the camera was when the photo was taken.

In other words, a child takes photo at home and sends to a friend. The friend now has this image along with the location of their buddy’s home embedded into the image. Thinking no one will bother searching for this not easily visible content? You’re probably right. Only those who know how and have less than honest intentions will probably do so.

What can parents do?

  • Don’t provide cell phones to children with GPS capabilities.
  • Disable GPS capabilities permanently or before taking any pictures.
  • Learn more through an Internet Safety course.
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