Teens using new picture messaging app "Snapchat" to sext instead - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Teens using new picture messaging app "Snapchat" to sext instead

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Parents beware, there's a new picture messaging app that's being used to sext and it could be on your child's phone.

It's called "Snapchat", and it allows users to send pictures to one another that will "self destruct" in just a few seconds.

And that's just the problem, Snapchat provides teens with a false sense of security that they won't get caught.

WGEM talked to numerous kids at Quincy Junior High Tuesday, many of whom were familiar with the app, and some saying they know kids who have used it inappropriately.

"They talk about it, it's not like it's a private thing," said Taylor Boyer, a student at QJHS.

"It can be really easy to send bad messages like that because you simply just take a picture," said Luke Fuqua, a student at QJHS.

"It's dangerous because you don't really know peoples screen names or how that picture could get out," said Abbey Gutierez, a student at QJHS.

And when parents heard what their kids could be doing on their cell phones, they were appalled.

"There are so many pedophiles in the world today that kids need to stop and realize what they're doing before they do so," said Michelle Lankford.

"I think it's terrible what they can do now a days," said Debbie Sheppard.

Snapchat claims to process more than 30 million messages a day, with more than 1,000 photos sent per second, and the majority of users are between the ages of 13-24.

The app could make it easier for teens to send sexual images to other users, without much fear of getting caught.

The sender can choose how long the message will be visible, up to 10 seconds, before it self-destructs.

But there's a loophole. Users can take a screen shot of the image, and save it on their phone.

"The person you are sending it to probably has just as much education on it as you do, and they can go on the Internet and find ways to save these messages," said Quincy Junior High School resource officer Brent Holtman.

Holtman says while many teens think this is harmless fun, it could have dire consequences.

"Basic child pornography, it's against the law it's a crime to have that in your possession, it's more of a crime to send that over the Internet, over the wires," said Holtman.

So parents what can you do to prevent your child from becoming a part of this craze?

First, set boundaries with your kids and explain to them the legal consequences of sending nude photos.

You can also download monitoring software such as "IRecover" that recovers all deleted pictures from iPhones and ipods, so you can ensure no inappropriate pictures were shared.

For more tips check out these links--

 
 
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