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Law Enforcement's list of smartphone apps parents should know

Posted at 7:17 AM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 10:18:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Smartphone apps have a range of benefits many people take advantage of, but many of these apps are not appropriate for kids and teenagers.

The young age group is constantly hearing about and trying the newest apps, but law enforcement agencies across the nation are sharing lists of apps they say parents should know about. And Pima County Sheriff's Detective Virginia Howard, a part of the crimes against children unit, agrees.

"Parents should respect their kids' privacy to a degree, but they also have a responsibility to make sure that they're child is safe," said Howard.

Apps can be deceiving and can help hide things you don't want others to easily find, like these calculator apps - which aren't calculators at all.

"It is recommended that parents go through the actual apps that are there. They're often a calculator or a clock or tings like that, that are actually either a vault to hide videos, text messages, photos, or an app in order to hide other applications which they're using to hide their browser history," said Howard.

Detective Howard said to talk to your kids about privacy and the information being shared. Even unknowingly sharing a photo with a school in the background or with house address numbers can reveal more than necessary.

"It is good to talk to your children. Teach them boundaries, teach them what your boundaries are. Body safety, as well as body positivity, because sometime bullying is an issue, not just the inappropriate photos," said Howard.

And check into the apps yourselves. If you are unsure what the app is or does, download it to find out.