CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A new list from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools names 15 apps they say could be dangerous to children.
WBTV’s Ron Lee spoke with a CMS technology teacher about what information parents should have as their children head back to school.
“People out there - they know how to get these kids, they know how to reel them in,” Sandy Spraggins said. “Years ago, you know it was ‘you don’t talk to a stranger who opens the car door and offers you candy.’ There’s a different way to offer the candy now.”
Officials say the dangers are out there, they’re real, and it could be as close as the laptops in many homes.
Sandy Spraggins, the technology teacher at Irwin Academic Center, says that while technology is wonderful and should be explored, it also has to be closely monitored.
“We’re desensitizing our kids in society to not deal with things in a face-to-face level,” Spraggins said.
What has many parents worried is not just how detached an online profile can become, but who else is looking at what your child is posting.
“There are people out there who unfortunately are not good people, who look for us, look for children,” Spraggins said.
Spraggins says online video games where you can talk to players all over the world is a prime site for catfishing.
“Monitor it. Have some kind of monitoring system where you know what they’re doing,” Spraggins said.
She says new apps pop up all the time like Skout, Bumble and MeetMe. Any of these could find your child in a very adult situation.
Children are also using programs to hide the apps on their phones.
One trick makes the app look like it’s a simple calculator icon, but in reality, it could be content you don’t want your child to see.
Spraggins says YouTube can be the biggest offender.
“That is the big thing right now - is to be a YouTuber,” Spraggins said.
She says many children she works with have their own channels, but you don’t know who is watching.
“There are people out there that that’s what they do. They look for that child showing that video who say ‘okay, now I can see where they live, now I see what their neighborhood looks like,’” Spraggins said.
Bottom line - she says parents need to be in the know.
“We don’t want to think that our children know about it. We want to think that our children wouldn’t do it, but it happens,” Spraggins said.
This is the entire list of the 15 apps CMS and law enforcement officials say you should know about, because your kids probably do:
- Tik Tok
- Hot or Not
- The "Calculator” apps
Officials say these apps aren’t dangerous when used correctly, but parents should be aware that people with bad intentions can use them to target their children.