We had a few incidents happen over the last week that I wanted to share with Parents.
Concerning the iphone/ipad:
As Parents, we are under the impression that using the restriction functions on mobile devices will prevent our children from hearing or seeing content we feel is inappropriate. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!! Simply turning off Safari doesn’t mean that your kids can’t still access the internet. We found out by allowing our daughter to have access to the Facebook app, she was still able to access the internet by clicking on the “ad choices” logo often found in Google ads just like the ad below.
Clicking it will take you to a Google search screen which allows your child to access whatever they want, without content restrictions through the App. By going through the App, parents have no way of knowing what their child has been doing on the internet. These Google ads are often found on the free apps that you or your children download to their devices. Our attorney did contact a developer with Apple, he was unaware of this backdoor around the restrictions found on Apple devices. He said there wasn’t anything Apple could do, this was an issue with Google.
Parents need to be aware of the ads found on some of the free apps. These ads appear to be random and don’t always show up in the same apps.
The other thing we would like to warn parents about is the website/app Wattpad. This site is used as a social media channel for people to read, chat, and vote with readers and writers. When I first looked into this app, I saw that you had to put ratings on the stories written G, PG, PG13, R, etc…
Let me start off by saying that not everyone on this site is on there for criminal or sexual reasons, however we found out that several are.
BEWARE of who you follow, they might be acting as a 17 year old guy, but in reality is a 37 year old con artist acting with a group of con artists raking in money from the parents credit cards or cash they told you they needed. After a little bit of digging around the site we found 5 or 6 different profiles with the same guy pictured in them.
When we contacted the FBI, they were able to use facial recognition software that found 62 profiles with the same person pictured. We then found out there was a group of 3 males and 1 female working together. We have been told that the amount of money they would bring in was about $100,000 a day. They had several computers, cell phones and white boards with victims names, schedules, where they told the victim they worked, the age, name they gave themselves and any other information needed to keep the con going.
We have been told there are other sites they were using as well. If your child/teenager has access to any kind of social media outlet please make sure they aren’t being scammed. This was a hard lesson for our daughter to learn. She has heard of this happening to other people, but never thought that this could happen to her. We were fortunate that they hadn’t been “talking” for too long. These people were smart, they took the time to get to know the person before asking for help.
Besides all the bad people, many stories on this site are disgusting and the rating system is extremely flawed. One story I started to read was pretty much a step by step instruction guide for sex, which had a G Rating.
This isn’t our typical blog posting, but we felt it necessary to warn other parents about some dangers they might not be aware of.