Apps parents should know about - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Apps parents should know about

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Long gone are the days when kids would call their friends' house phones to talk with them.  It seems like now every teenager has a cell phone. 

Do you know what your teen could be up to on his or her phone, or about the newest apps and text lingo that are meant to K.P.C. (keep parents clueless) about what he or she is doing? 

Do you know your texting lingo and secrecy apps?  Many parents put to the test don't fair that well.  Moms Carol Coleman and Sue Devol were surprised to learn LMIRL means "let's meet in real life."

You may think you're on top of it, watching what your kids text using the plans you pay for, but did you know there are new apps out there like Kick that allow teens to call and text for free?
They don't even need a data plan, just a Wi-Fi connection.

There are also apps like Snap-Chat that allow people to send pictures which disappear from the receiver's phone in seconds.

With 28% of teens reporting they've "sexted" or texted naked pictures of themselves, Gerry Polucci, the founder of SmartParents, suggests you stay on top of the apps your teenager downloads and up-to-date on the latest tech lingo. 

The latest chat terms are anything but innocent.  Few of our parents knew that GNRN means "get naked right now" or that IMEZRU means "I'm easy are you?"

SmartParents.com helps parents monitor their kids' online activity; something Michiana mom of two Sue Devol says she does regularly.  She says she knows all about the apps her kids use and that she checks their cell phones about once a week, adding they are not allowed to delete any of their text messages or voice mails.

"I'm sure there's things that fall through the cracks and I won't catch everything, but if I can catch the majority of it.  That's great.  I'm not trying to make them live a sheltered life, but the more I know the better off I think they'll be," says Devol.

For more information on how you can better understand your teen's high tech world, check out uknowkids.com or uknowlingo.com.

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