Are you monitoring your teen's cell? - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Are you monitoring your teen's cell?

Posted: Updated:
LARGO, FL (WFLA) -

When it comes to teenagers you might wonder what's the next "it" social site? That's tough for parents to track because it's constantly changing. Teens are dividing their attention between an array of applications that let them text and chat with their friends and often with strangers.

15-year-old Brenna McAnulty spends a lot of time on her phone. One of her favorite new apps, Match Me, is a virtual dating site where Brenna thought she came across one of her idols, teen pop artist Austin Mahone.

The two began frequent on line chats culminating in a plan for Brenna to go to his upcoming concert in Tampa. He offered her a ticket to his meet and greet and the concert for $150.

"I was really excited because he said I could hang out with him," says Brenna. But then, the would-be Austin Mahone suggested Brenna get a hold of her parents credit card without their permission. That's when Brenna told her mother, Valerie McAnulty, about the chats.

"The minute he started asking for money was the minute I was like no," said Valerie McAnulty. "When Brenna finally realized everything was false, I think she spent the next day and a half in her room just completely depressed."

Robyn Spoto is the President of Mama Bear, an app that helps parents track their kids on line activity.  She says of the internet , "It's a wide open door for a lot of bad to happen."

Another popular teen app is Ask FM.  Spoto is not a fan of it because you can choose to be anonymous which she says opens the door for bullying and other dangers.

Spoto gave that app a test drive herself.  "Within ten minutes there was a young girl.  I found out what school she went to, where she lived in New Jersey and the names, the full names, of the friends in her group."

Under the Children's On Line Privacy Protection Act, kids under the age of 13 shouldn't even be on social media but one in four 9 year olds has a Facebook page according to Spoto. Sometimes the parents know about it and condone it. Sometimes they don't.

Spoto recommends parents constantly monitor their kids cell phones. "It's awareness. It's being in the know and not being afraid of what you're going to find if you find something."

Valerie McAnulty agrees. "I think technology has made this a very dangerous world. It preys upon people who are naive."

Related Content: Mama Bear App

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:57:42 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.