Our regular Parent Alert! news updates help parents stay ahead of the trends affecting kids in our hypersexualized culture.
This month we’re talking about two sources of danger for children – and what you can do to protect kids! Read on to learn how to prevent cyber flashing and the risks of kids using SnapChat.
Has Your Child Been Cyber Flashed on His iPhone?
If your child has an iPhone, check the privacy settings on AirDrop right away!
AirDrop is an Apple feature that allows users to share data (such as photos, playlists, etc.) directly to another iPhone without texting or email. It creates a peer-to-peer connection between two devices so that users can share information with the click of a button.
Useful? Absolutely. Safe? Not without turning on those privacy settings!
Here’s the problem with AirDrop. If privacy settings are not set, it allows anyone to send explicit images anonymously to other iPhones within 20 to 30 feet. The images just pop up on a user’s iPhone without requiring anything to be clicked on. This act of sending someone an unsolicited, anonymous, and obscene image is called cyber flashing.
How popular is “AirDropping?” Teens have been using AirDrop for mass image sharing for years, usually sending funny memes and photos. As this author puts it, “Anytime young people get together, the pics start flowing.”
Protect your kids from cyber flashing
Here’s how to turn off and/or limit AirDrop settings:
- Go the “General” tab in your iPhone Settings. Click on AirDrop at the top.
- Change the AirDrop setting from “Everyone” to either “Contacts only” or “Receiving off.”
Cyber flashing is yet another form of pornography that is invading our kids’ spaces. Now is the time to have those important conversations that will equip your child to thrive in our hypersexualized culture!
Time to Snap Shut the Snapchat app? Two Alarming Things You Should Know
Snapchat recently ran a series of filters (special accessories or effects added to photos) for its “Love Has No Labels” campaign to celebrate Pride Month. In one of those filters, Snapchat users were offered the line, “Love has no age.”
Linger on that thought for a moment. Is that actually true?
Of course, if we’re thinking about love in the context of family or friendships, then we understand the sentiment. But this campaign is about romantic relationships!
Our society protects young children’s vulnerability and innocence with age-of-consent laws. These laws show that in fact, love does have an age limit!
Snapchat received a huge backlash for that filter in the Twitter world, especially from people who were sexually abused as children.
And then, without any explanation or apology, the filter was quietly removed in early June … only to be put back again two weeks later!
Testing us for a reaction, perhaps?
We need to be aware and speak out against any attempts to normalize pedophilia as just another sexual orientation.
Read on for more about Snapchat …
The shocking result when a mom tested Snapchat posing as a teen
This activist mom, Melissa McKay, discovered that Snapchat is a major pedophile magnet.
Here’s her daring experiment: She set up accounts on both Snapchat and Instagram, posing as a 15-year-old girl. Using a cartoon avatar and some innocent hashtags, she posted a simple message: “Hey everyone! I just joined Snapchat and Instagram and I want someone to talk to.”
After only a few seconds, Melissa received pornographic videos and graphic descriptions of what men wanted to do to her.
The texts she received are too graphic to include here.
Melissa had to shut down the accounts in half an hour. She already had horrifying evidence of what kids can experience on social media.
We share this to help parents be aware–predators and exhibitionists and are all over Snapchat.
Parent Tip: Test it yourself before giving kids free access
Let’s make a regular practice of being familiar with the digital spaces our kids are going to!
- If your child is on social media or you are considering allowing them access, please open an account, test it as if you were their age, and get familiar with the issues and dangers.
- Understand how to set privacy controls so strangers cannot contact kids–and know that there are no parental controls that limit sexual content in SnapChat.
Related: Snapchat Made Easy for Parents
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