FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Snapchat is one of the most popular apps available. If you have kids, you've probably heard them talking about it. It's used to take fun pictures that disappear in a matter of seconds. But just like any popular social media application, predators are exploiting it.
We sat down with four students at the Alternative
Learning Center in Fort Myers to talk about Snapchat.
"It's supposed to be fun, you're supposed to make jokes and have fun with it. Not misuse it," said 13-year-old Warren Cohen.
But just like any fun app, people are misusing it.
"My sister has it and a lot of her guy friends will send her things that are out of line," Cohen said.
Snapchat has been called the "sexting app." After all, the picture will disappear so what's the harm, right? Wrong.
If you're quick you can take a screenshot of the photo and then you have it forever. Snapchat is kind enough to let you know the other person took a screenshot. But as 15-year-old Jack Kamalov will tell you, there's nothing you can do about it.
"Seeing the fact that they took a screenshot will not affect the fact that you don't want them to have it," Kamalov said, "once they take a screenshot, you can't control what they do with the picture, it's out there."
Parents, here's what you need to know, even if you understand social media. Predators are using Snapchat too. Not surprisingly, there are a string of websites dedicated to nude photos sent through Snapchat. Tell your kids, if they don't want that picture plastered online, then don't send it.
Let's also dispell the other myth about Snapchat, that the photos disappear. When you download the app, which millions have, the descriptions says the photo disappears forever. But anything that is digitized can be undeleted.
A Utah-based computer forensics experts recently posted on his blog an explanation how his company recovered the Snapchat photos on an Android device. They are currently working on getting the photos on iPhones and tablets.
The takeaway for parents is you need to talk to your kids. No need to tell them not to use this app. After all, it can be a fun thing to use. Just let them know to be smart and careful. And reiterate to them that if they take private pics and send them, then they are out there forever.