Tuesday, December 31, 2013

4 Apps Teens Love that Parents Need to Monitor

Cyber Crime Expert Sedgrid Lewis shares the four hottest apps being used by teens and why parents need to monitor them.(posted from goodmenproject.com).

It’s holiday time and most teenagers have received a new cell phone or Mp3 player.  According to Pew Research, over 78% of teens have cell phones with almost half of them having smartphones. Teens will be rushing to online mobile app stores to purchase the hottest apps on the market.

According to a recent study, 58% of all teens between the ages of 12-17 have downloaded apps to their personal cell phones. This generation loves to communicate through their cell phones. The movement away from desktops to laptops has become problematic. The rise of sexting, bullying, prostitution, and drug use are taking place over third party mobile apps.  Apps have become the new way for teens to engage in at risk behavior without the watchful eyes of their parents.

The list below is the hottest apps that are being used by teenagers. We take a look at why teens love them and why you should monitor them.

1. Snap Chat

Why Your Teen Loves It
Snapchat allows users to send images and videos to their friend lists. The secret sauce is that the sender can place a time limit on how long the receiver reviews the image or video. The content or “Snaps” self-destruct from 1-10 seconds based upon the time limit set by the users. After the snap self-destructs it is also deleted from the Snapchat Servers. Teens love snapchat because of it’s simplicity and speed. It sends photos and videos much faster than standard text messages. Teens sends millions of snaps throughout the day of funny facial expressions or pictures of their pets.

Why You Should Monitor It
Snapchat is the number one sexting app on the market. Teens send nude snaps to their significant others under the impression that snaps self-destruct. Forensic Experts have stated the snaps can easily be recovered thus they are never truly deleted from the receiver’s phone. Due to the countless number of nude snaps, porn sites have popped up over the internet to take advantage of the free content. There have also been numerous cases of bullying with the app.

2. Kik Messenger

Why Your Teen Loves It
Super quick instant messaging app with over 100 million users that allow teens to exchange videos, pics, and sketches. New Kik cards allow user send Youtube videos, create memes, and gifs without leaving the app. Kik Cards reached over 2 million users within first week of their launch.

Why You Should Monitor It
Teens are using the Kik app for sexting and dating. Teens are sending nude selfies to one another through the app. The term sex buddy is being replaced with Kik Buddy. Teens used Reddit and other forum sites to place classified ads for sex by giving out their Kik usernames. Kik does not offer any parental controls. Additionally, there is no way of authenticating users thus making it easy for pedophiles to use the messenger app.

3. The Whisper App

Why Your Teen Loves It
Whisper is the Teen Confession App. It allows users to superimpose text over a picture. The secret sauce is that users are anonymous thus allowing for secrets to be posted. Over 70% of whisper users are women under the age of 25. Whisper provides freedom for young users to share raw feelings and emotions over simple pictures.

Why You Should Monitor It
Teens have started using the app for cyberbullying. Due to the anonymous feature of the app, teens are posting pics of other teens with derogatory text superimposed on the image. Users do not have to register to use Whisper thus no user profile. Unfortunately, the app allow users to communicate with other users nearby by using the device GPS location settings. Pedophiles seek out female whisper users to establish a relationship. Recently, a Seattle, Washington man was arrested for raping a 12 year old girl that was lured to a hotel through the app.

4. Ask.fm App

Why Your Teen Loves It
Ask.fm is one of the hottest social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by teenagers and pre-teens. 25% of teens have posted something on ask.fm over the past 30 days. It is a question and answers site that allows user to ask anonymous questions. Ask.Fm has Twitter and Facebook integration that allows users to connect with all their friends on those popular sites.

Why You Should Monitor It
Due to intense bullying, Ask.fm has led to 4 documented cases of suicide in the United States, Ireland, and Great Britain. User engage in hyper bullying by constantly asking inappropriate and derogatory questions. The app is totally anonymous and is not being monitored by the developers.

The key for parents is to monitor downloaded apps on their child’s phone. Google the apps to learn if they are dangerous or inappropriate. Gather all of your child’s passwords and user names for monitoring purposes. If your teen refuses to give you his or her passwords, then download spyware such as Mspy to review your teen’s cell phone activity. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Audition Opportunity at Pebblebrook


The Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School will hold an open casting call to fill three children’s roles in the upcoming production of LES MISÉRABLES to be presented February 13-16 at the Cobb Civic Center’s Anderson Theatre.

Audition Date:
Saturday, 12/14 @ 3:00PM

Audition Location: 
Pebblebrook High School
Black Box Theatre - Betty Gray Building
991 Old Alabama Road, Mableton, GA 30126

To Schedule An Audition:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Public Speaking Club

There will be an informational meeting for all 8th grade students interested in Toastmasters Public Speaking Club this Wednesday from 4:30-5:00 in Dr. Deane’s office.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Magnet Application Deadline is Friday!

Please remember all magnet applications must be submitted by Friday, December 6th.  Late applications will not be accepted.  Teacher recommendations are submitted electronically and do not have the same deadline as the student applications.

Pebblebrook Magnet Fox 5 News story

Paul Milliken and Fox5 Atlanta did an excellent story on the performing arts magnet program at Pebblebrook. Here’s a link to the story on the Fox 5 web site for those of you who might want to watch:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reminder the Kennesaw Mountain STEM Career Night was rescheduled

Just a reminder that the STEM career night has been rescheduled from November 12, 2013 to January 27, 2014, 6:30 PM in the KMHS theatre. The keynote speaker will be Gilda Lyon, GADOE STEM Coordinator, and the committee is hard at work lining up engaging speakers for the breakout sessions.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Magnet Deadline Dec 6th

Please remember all magnet applications must be submitted by Friday, December 6th.  Late applications will not be accepted.  

Please contact Dr. Deane if you have questions about the application process.

Wheeler Magnet Program Fall Open House Nov. 7th

Wheeler Center for Advances Studies in Math, Science, and Technology is hosting their fall Open House on Thursday, November 7th at 7 PM.  The meeting will be held in the Wheeler High School gym.