Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Most Dangerous App for Teens

Last Week I wrote an article on some of the most dangerous apps for students. That article was in response to a question posed by one of the parents, whose child is in our student ministry. Please follow the link above for that article. This week I would like to extend that discussion with what is the single most dangerous app for teens.

Before, I reveal this information I would like to give a quick disclaimer. I am a strong proponent of proactive parenting. While I do not have a teenager yet, I will one day. I do not claim to know how to parent a teen, I'm still working on raising a two-year-old. Nonetheless, I do believe that the Bible teaches that parents should be very proactive in rearing their children. See Deut. 6:6-9, Eph. 6:1-3, and Prov. 1:8-9 for examples. Therefore, I believe a parent should know what apps are on their child's phone, and how they are using them. Grace and peace be unto you in this endeavor.

After posting last week's article, I discovered another app that is by far deadlier than the other apps. It is called AppLocker. It is available for iPhone and Android. This app creates a harmless looking folder, but hides other apps in the folder. Teens are then using this app to hide the dangerous apps from last weeks article from their parents. This app can also hide dangerous pictures and links to web pages. I find this app to be to most dangerous, because it encourages teens' rebellion against their parents even further.

Furthermore, I discovered that there is a whole category of apps like this. Some of the others are Hide It Pro, Vault Hide, Hide Pictures, Vaulty, and App Drawer. If your teen has any of these apps or a similar app, that I am still unaware of this, you should confront them. 

Last, I believe there is no app that a parent should not be able to access. I understand that you want to give your child their privacy, but you the parent are responsible for guiding their decisions for this season in their life. If the student has a password or access code that you don't know, they should be willing to give it to you. If they refuse to give it to you, this implies they have something to hide from you. This is not good, because this implies the teen is involved in something that you will not approve. Additionally, this breaks trust between you and your child.

I encourage all parents to love their children by showing your attention and guiding their decisions in life. Scripture says, 'Whoever does not discipline his son hates him, but he who loves his son is diligent to discipline him.' in Proverbs 13:24. It also states, 'Discipline and guidance gives wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his parents.' in Proverbs 29:15.

For further reading:

(I love the solution in this article. The author argues for removing a smart phone from the child's possession. Some parents consider this as radical, but I find it wise.)

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