Police warn parents to be careful of apps on children's smartphones
Some police officials in the valley are warning parents about a list of mobile device apps.
Posted online by a law enforcement agency outside of the Valley, there are about nine apps parents should know about to help keep their kids safe.
Apps like Snapchat and Kik allow users to message people including strangers. A spokeswoman with the Staunton Police Department said apps like Snapchat are challenging because the photos and messages sent on the app and disappear soon after they are opened.
"Even parents that are trying to be conscientious and checking their child's phone, by the time they check the phone, the messages or inappropriate images that were sent or received may already be gone," said Sargeant Katie Shifflett, public information officer for the Staunton Police Department.
But apps with disappearing messages are not the only apps parents should be aware of. The app 'Calculator%' is just one of several different apps appearing to be a calculator but actually is a password protected photo library.
Shifflett said it's important to look at every app on your child's phone and not just the basic ones.
"Go beyond just checking the messages on the native texting app or the web search history. Those are great places to start, but look through all of the apps," said Shifflett.
Shifflett added many phones have parental controls or apps to allow parents to control what their child does on their phones. She suggests parents use those to help keep their kids safe.