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Social media apps can block parental control programs

Posted: 8:32 AM, Sep 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-17 14:51:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Keeping track of your child's online activity comes with challenges. About 10 years ago, parents were concerned about what website their children were on but now kids have moved to apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and parentral control programs are trying to keep up.

In the digital age, parents are concerned about what their teenagers are sharing and who has access to it. Each parent has their own approach to keeping kids safe online.

"She has to bring her phone to me to plug it in every night at a certain time and she also know I'm going to go through it," said LynnAnn Lescenski, a mom of two kids and a counselor at Faith Lutheran High School.

"I am the mean mom who says no to Instagram, Snapchat. I probably don't even know what's hip right now," said Cindi Mathes, mom to four children.

"When they come home from school they have to give their phones in for the day so they can do homework and things like that," said Usila Koech, a mother to two boys.

Programs like Net Nanny, Teen Safe, and Bark allow parents to manage screen time, track location, block unwanted apps, and see online searches, which helps identify red flag items related to risky behavior or self harm.

Apps like Snapchat and Instagram have a code tough to crack. They've blocked parental control programs from viewing their content.

"Snapchat for example, they've made it impossible for Net Nanny to look at the content that's going back and forth. It's obviously intentional," said Clayton Ostler, Chief Product Officer with Net Nanny.

What you can do is monitor how often your kid is using the app, control when it's available, or block it all together.

Beyond the parental control programs, local moms say they all have a password to their child's phone.