Kids using hidden apps to 'sext'

Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 10:00:18-05
There are so many apps that kids use to connect that it can be hard for parents to keep track.
"There's a lot being used out there," said Pete Ehlert of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department. "We're seeing it every day."
Parents may recognize apps like Instagram or Snapchat, but kids are now using hidden apps that disguise picture and video folders in something innocuous, like a calculator. They're mainly using these kinds of apps to send sexually explicit pictures of themselves and others.
"It's difficult, technology is ever-changing," Ehlert said.
Students right here in Wisconsin are using these apps. Just last week, 30 kids in Waukesha used similar apps in a sexting ring.
"What we have to do is educate the students themselves," Ehlert explained. "First of all to understand the seriousness of the possible consequences that could happen to them."
Ehlert is also working to educate parents. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department has been holding social media safety talks for parents, going over everything from sexting to online predators.
"We would just like to get more information on all the different apps that are out there," said Gayle Wisnefske, a mother in Winneconne who attended the social media safety discussion there on Thursday night.
Some parents even came because of experiences their kids have had with online predators.
"Our son was almost a victim of an online predator this past Christmas," said Jeff Jensen, a father who also attended the social media safety seminar.
With it happening in our own backyard, more parents say they need to be in the know when it comes to their kids on social media.