The app teens are into right now: Snapchat.
The app promises to delete photos up to 10 seconds after they're delivered, but as two teens in New Jersey found out, that's not the case. Naked photos of the teens ended up on Instagram after they sent them to a friend.
But it's not just Snapchat parents need to be aware of.
"Instagram can also be a problem if they don't change their security settings from "Everyone" to something more restricted," Zoeticafounder Kami Huyse wrote in. "Also, lots of kids use Kik Messenger for texting. On the plus side for privacy, people don't need your phone number to text with you." Huyse sent this post that she says shows how mixing these two services can be toxic.
There are also apps that make it easy to find " Sugar Daddies." Apps like Break the Ice and tinder help you connect with people who may be interested in you. The trick to these apps is - they are location based, which means the person you are connecting with is physically nearby. Miumeetlet's you video chat with people you don't know.
Just like these apps are free, so are the apps your kids use to access social networks. And the implications run deep. Russ Warner, CEO of NetNanny.com says gangs are using social networks to find sex trafficking victims.
"Justin Strom, leader of the Underground Gangster Crips in Virginia, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for participating in a sex trafficking ring. Strom and other gang members would find attractive young women online. They would approach girls using fake identities, compliment them, and convince them to share their cell phone numbers so they could meet in person. They would give the girls alcohol or drugs, and then rape them. This was followed by threats of violence if they didn’t engage in commercial sex," he wrote. "In short: social networking sites can be very dangerous when teens are left unsupervised."
So how do you monitor what your kids are doing on their cell phones? Here's what we're hearing from parents already:
Kathy K. write on Facebook, "I monitor my 16-year-old son's apps by sharing iCloud and the app account. Every time he obtains a free new app or pays for one, it shows up on my iPhone as well."
Click here to find out how to change who can see your photos on Instagram.