Popular Phone App Not as Safe as People Think - 8 News NOW

Popular Phone App Not as Safe as People Think

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LAS VEGAS -- It is one of the latest high-tech ways kids can get themselves into trouble, and police say they are seeing more of it. A popular app can lead to risky images getting passed around over and over.

The app is called Snapchat. It allows people to send photos and videos to friends, but the photos only last on a phone for ten seconds.

However, through a simple screenshot, and some more complicated ways, the images are getting saved. The problem, police say, is kids and teens are saving the images, which are often of a sexual nature, and sharing them.

"It gets around pretty quick. Like if a photo goes out, maybe two days ago, it can be everywhere within hours," Braxton Kail said.

What a person meant to send to only one person could end up for many to see.

"When you're dealing with kids, and 14-to-16-years-old-age group that send out photographs to their boyfriends or their friends that are embarrassing or explicit, they don't want those photographs to turn up around school," Metro Police Sgt. Raymond Spencer said.

With Snapchat, a person can take a screenshot and save the photo. The ten seconds actually turns into eternity. Police say they're seeing more sexting cases start like this.

"The child is embarrassed and has a hard time going back to school because of photographs that were taken. So, it is important that you know parents and kids realize what is out there is always out there," Sgt. Spencer said.

The person passing an image along, as well as, the one who took the original picture and sent it, could both get in trouble with the law.

"There is a consequence to it and that consequence is getting involved in the juvenile justice system, and it is not a game and it is not something to be taken lightly. They really need to be thinking about what they're doing," Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Juvenile Division Brigid Duffy said.

Some students seem to understand the risks.

"You can get in trouble for that. Real big trouble," Michael Webbs said.

"The Internet never goes away. What you post, it is there," Braxton Kail said.

A Clark County School District spokeswoman says there is school policy against sexting, but it is not really a school issue since it is the parents who buy their kids cell phones.

"Creating a safe and respectful education environment is an important part of learning that should not be compromised.

School administrators and school police take immediate action to investigate matters that involve sexting, cyber-bullying and inappropriate use of electronic devices.

CCSD is proactive in educating students about the appropriate use of the Internet and electronic devices because the use of technology has become more prevalent in the learning environment.

We encourage parents to monitor their children's use of electronic devices and social media sites, and to have reoccurring conversations with their children about inappropriate use of these devices as well as the potential consequences.

Students and parents are asked to contact district staff or school police if they have questions or concerns." CCSD spokeswoman Melinda Malone said.

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