Back-to-school lesson on sneaky smartphone apps

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As students head back to school, it's the parents who might actually need a lesson on the apps your child may be using.

Snapchat is a popular one launched in September 2011.  It allows the user to send a picture to a person and set the number of seconds it can be viewed.  Then the picture disappears, at least in theory.

"There is kind of a catch there in that you can screen shot those images," said FOX19 Digital Content Director Rachel Folz.

Raymond Kellam, 15, has Snapchat on his phone, but his mom, Renita, admits she hadn't even heard of the app until we told her about it.

"It's almost like a sneaky way of sexting," Renita Kellam said.

Folz points out that, "You don't have any way to remove that image from their phone.  No way to go back in time and get that image.  It's on their phone and from there they can do whatever they want with it."

Another app that should be on parents' radars is called Vine.

"Vine on its basis is just a program that allows you to post six second videos to twitter or your facebook account," Folz said.

Raymond Kellam uses the app to watch funny videos, but there are some videos on Vine you would never want your children to see.

"There are going to be creative ways to search for certain things that teens are very aware of," Folz said.

As Raymond Kellam heads back to school, it's actually his mom who is taking on a new research project.

"Do a little investigating and say yay or nay you should be using the apps," Renita Kellam said.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.