One of the hottest apps on the market is Snapchat. Teens use it because they think it's an untraceable way to send nude or questionable photos via cell phone.
The app sends a photo and within ten seconds it disappears. The idea is seductive for those wanting privacy, especially teenage kids.
WOWT reporter Jacki Ochoa sat down with a group at the Boys and Girls Club in Council Bluffs to discuss the app.
Freshman Devin Ely said his parents didn't know he was using the app. He adds that it is so popular, it's replacing the need to text.
Ely said, "Some people take nude pictures and send them to their boyfriends or what not. And then other people just send them, just to send them."
Twelve-year-old Jessica Booton said, "We are not allowed to bring phones into the locker room, but some kids do and just take pictures in mirrors and you can get kids in the background and they can get their phones taken away. So, they use that and post pictures on Snapchat."
Part of the appeal is that teens think Snapchat creates a secret world, but Jessica's sister, 13-year-old Brittany Bootin understands that is not the case.
Booton said, "But, that person (the recipient) can also click two buttons and save it."
Many smartphones are equipped with screen savers. So, even though Snapchat erases the photo, recipients can still save and share them.
Angi Sada teaches internet safety at Boys and Girls Club. She said, "They can learn how to navigate the technological world in which we live in."
Sada believes it is critical for parents to maintain a level of control over their teen's phone. For example, require teenagers to give the password before an app can be downloaded.
Sada said, " They go to their parent. Their parent can interject at that moment and say, tell me about this website, tell me about this app, how does this work, how are you going to use it?"
WOWT also discovered that Snapchat creates a public profile for each person's user name. That allows anyone to see how many Snapchat's you've sent and the top three people users send messages too.