Taking Care of Your Teen: The Good, Bad and Ugly Side of Tech for Parents

Parenting teens can be an anxiety-provoking job, especially in these times. When your primary concern is caring for your teen and making sure that all’s well, there are apps that you should be aware of. Here are tips.

Camouflage apps

Teens know that they can’t trust their parents to not pry. If they have things on their phone that they would rather you didn’t see — pictures, videos, social networking apps that show that they’ve been hanging out with the wrong crowd — they can now use a camouflage app to hide them. With names like Calculator% and Audio Manager, these apps can look innocuous enough on the surface. When you tap the icon to try to open them, however, you get a password screen.

If you have the password, you get to go in and look at all the secret stuff saved in there. If not, you just leave slightly suspicious, but with no real reason to be upset — after all, those apps really could have something to do with managing music files or with math calculations.

If you come across an app with an innocent name, that won’t open without a password, you need to know that you should be concerned.

Apps that make things disappear

Snapchat is well loved for its ability to share images that self-destruct after one view. It helps people who want to share naughty pictures. There are many other apps that offer self-destructive features, as well — Burn Note and Line, for instance. When a kid has one of these self-destruct apps, it often means they are interested in sharing things that they don’t feel safe keeping around. YikYak and KiK aren’t about self-destructive messages, but they are quite popular among sexters. You don’t want to see any of these apps on your kid’s phone.

Apps that bring strangers into your kids’ life

Omegle is a popular new app whose primary goal is to help members start personal conversations with absolute strangers. There are other apps that offer the same feature in different forms, Blender and Tinder among them. If your kid has this app, you should have a talk.

Call recorders to monitor your kids

A call recorder app for Android is a good idea because it lets you know what’s going on in your child’s conversations. It’s even better to get an app that is stealthy about recording conversations. As long as call recorders are legal in the state that you live in, these are powerful tools to make sure that your kid isn’t bullying, being bullied or in any other kind of trouble.

An allergy resource app

If your kid has a food allergy, an app like Food Additives 2 can be a wonderful resource. It’s something both you and your kid should have.

Finally, if you have lots of stuff around the house that your teen no longer uses, you should use an exchange app like Wanna that matches you with local families who want what you have and want to exchange it for stuff that you want. You’ll save money, and you’ll just feel good.

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