•   A parent recently reached out to me with a horrifying and heartbreaking story about his 8th-grade daughter. It was a story that had been going on for the better part of a year, and he was only now just learning of it. His daughter, Kelly, during her 7th-grade year, sent a topless image to her boyfriend. The relationship ended and the image that she intended for only one person to see was shared with others.SEE MORE

  •   Every year at about this time, I dust off this article, update it, and hope parents will read and share it with their friends. There will be millions of children returning to school after the holidays with brand new shiny phones with no guidelines or parental controls. The result is a new crop of incidents of bullying, threats, anxiety, depression, and sexual exploitation. ...SEE MORE

  • In January of 2018, two large Apple shareholders with a $2 billion stake wrote an open letter to Apple. They demanded the smartphone maker respond to a “growing public health crisis” of smartphone addiction in young people. Teens who spent more time on new media (screens) were more likely to report mental health issues than those who spent time on non-screen activities. A 2017...SEE MORE

  • You might have given YouTube Kids app a chance in the past, only to be disappointed to find that your child could start out on a Sesame Street video and end up on some inappropriate and disturbing content. Now it is time to give this app another look. YouTube Kids has just launched parent-approved content, a control that lets you handpick every video and channel available to your child.SEE MORE

  • 2014 Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, launched a cybercrime awareness campaign after being a victim of computer hacking and extortion. A high school classmate, Jared James Abrahams, gained access to her computer's webcam and "sextorted" her with private photos taken without her knowledge — many while she dressed/undressed in her room. "I was hysterical, scared, violated & had NO...SEE MORE

  •    Kids are back in school. Maybe your child, or their classmates, have a brand new phone. At the beginning of every school year, there tends to be a lot of bullying and other problematic behavior happening online. For this reason, at the beginning of every school year, I suggest parents do a cyber safety tune-up of their child's digital safety. Whether you have already done some...SEE MORE

  • By: Clayton Cranford, M.A.  On February 19, 1997, 16-year-old Evan Ramsey entered his high school in quiet Bethel, Alaska and used a shotgun to fire on fellow students. He killed one student and the principal and injured two additional students. According to his friends, Ramsey complained of being harassed and teased by other students, even to the extent of only addressing him...SEE MORE

  • Porn on Snapchat

    Apps and Games Friday, May 25, 2018

    Perhaps over the past couple days, you heard Cosmopolitan Magazine published a Snapchat channel, found in the "Discover" area, called “Cosmo After Dark." “Cosmo After Dark,” featured an explicit discussion of sex and other content aimed at adults. Through Snapchat’s content guidelines, the content was “age-gated,” meaning a user couldn’t access it...SEE MORE

  • A sharp spike in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes by students has grabbed the attention of school administrators and school police officers.   The rapid spread of the fad was flagged in a 2016 report from the US surgeon general. It cited a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students from 2011 to 2015, and the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey noted that 1.7 million...SEE MORE

  • Roblox, first launched in 2005, has become and remains a very popular multiplayer online game for children 8 years old and up. It can best be described as Minecraft meets Fortnite. Roblox is free to play. Once a player has signed up and created an avatar, they are given their own piece of real estate along with a virtual toolbox (known as “Roblox Studio”) for building. They...SEE MORE

  • If you have a teenaged gamer in your home, they are probably playing Fortnight on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, and even on their mobile device.   Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play multiplayer survival action shooter game. It is world-building strategy crossed with Call of Duty. Players are dropped onto the game map and must compete to be the last one standing by...SEE MORE

  • Mappen - "Make Something Happen" is a social media application available on iPhone and Android devices. It is rated 4+ in Apple's App Store. The 4+ age rating will mean very young children, who are too young for Instagram's 13+ app, will want to sign up for Mappen. Paradoxically, Mappen's privacy policy explicitly states, "Our Services are not intended for children under the age of...SEE MORE