Parents talk new dangerous apps at Holly Pond forum

• Caption: The lightning port of an iPhone 7 is shown during an event to announce new Apple products on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(WIAT) — With nearly every teenager in every Alabama high school equipped with a cell phone, the dangers of Internet apps are on many parents’ minds.

On Thursday night, Holly Pond High School addressed those concerns in a parent forum, complete with law enforcement officers, local judicial experts, and teen advocacy groups.

Wayne Hays, who has four grandchildren in the school system, says he wanted to come to get more information that could help his family and neighbors.

“You just don’t know what is happening and what type people are trying to get to your children, and you want to protect them, and just be informed,” Hays said.

Chief Juvenile Probation Officer with Cullman County, Kay Bell, says there are new apps that could pose dangers to teens, emerging every day.

“There’s the Backpage, Kik, even Snapchat because now you can lock the pictures,” Bell said.

Bell said there are warning signs to look out for, though. If your teenager is constantly turning over their phone or hiding it when you walk into a room, that’s a sign they don’t want you to see what is on the screen.

Some teens also hide photos and apps behind a fake calculator app. You can enter a pin code to get into that hidden information.

“Parents just need to be informed that this is out there and find out how to better equip themselves,” Bell said.

Holly Pond High School officials say they hope to have more events like this in the future.


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