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Often, compromising photos and videos are taken and shared by a victim who trusted the original recipient, only to be betrayed later when that trusted recipient shares the embarrassing content with others, all to harass or hurt the sender.
Cyber-bullying has become the way teens gang up on one another, either by sending taunting pictures and messages or using more "under the radar" spheres to spread rumors about a victim, tease or embarrass another person.
Many of us feel helpless when faced with both the youthful demand for technology and our own inability to understand how it works and how it can be used -- or misused.
How many of us have given in and handed over a mobile device that gives our children, at the youngest ages, complete access to the world -- with all of its lures and dangers, with access to predators and opportunities to bully?
Sexting Among Teens Sexting has been a rising phenomenon among teens for the past few years.
Among teens aged 12-17 surveyed on their cell phone use, 15% said they had received a "sext" from someone they knew personally; and 4% of that group reported having sent "sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging" (Pew Research Center, December 2009).
It is the 4th most popular i Phone app: Up to 1,000 photos sent per second.
Snap Chat creates the illusion of security for teens to engage in sexting because they can choose the recipients and the pictures and videos are advertised as disappearing immediately with no permanent record. However, this is a false sense of security, because the recipient can take a screenshot of the content and share with anyone else.
Facebook, for instance, has been in the cyber-safety spotlight for years (eliciting concerns of bullying, inappropriate posts and messages, pedophiles, etc).
Some of the applications used most frequently, as well as the newer ones appearing almost every day, include names such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, Wickr, Kik, Oovoo, Omegle, Chatroulette, Imeetzu and Chatgig.
There are three general areas where children get themselves into trouble with their electronic footprints, these include sexting, cyber-bullying and meeting with strangers they connect with online, and they each represent the cyber-equivalent of taking the wrong turn.
Information sent via Kik is not secure because, like both Snap Chat and Wickr, nothing prevents the recipient from saving, storing and sharing something you send hoping for privacy.
Rise of the Cyber-Bully While the issue of bullying is nothing new, bullying over the Internet or electronic platforms, often referred to as "Cyber-bullying," has brought the conduct to a new level of destructiveness.