Jun 26, 2018

Zoom out: How kids keep parents from controlling their phones

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Children are getting savvier at hiding their digital footprint from their parents, AP’s Martha Irvine reports.

Why it matters: Many social media sites require a sign up age of 13 years old or older. Electronic devices — phones, tablets and iPods — are in the hands of children earlier than that and kids fake their age to access the plethora of apps that parents aren’t in the know about.

The big picture... Children are on devices unbeknownst to their parents for:

  • "Using video and chat functions to meet strangers on apps ranging from Musical.ly to WhatsApp and Houseparty."
  • "Storing risqué photos in vault apps that look like something as innocent as a calculator — and then trading those photos like baseball cards."
  • "Using Text Burner and other apps to harass and bully peers with anonymous messages."
  • "Using apps that secretly record messages on Snapchat and other apps before they disappear."
  • "Ordering pot and other drugs via ... social media and communication apps or encrypted websites — or buying something else online that you don’t want them to have using prepaid credit cards (makeup maybe?) and having it sent to a friend’s house."
  • "Buying or borrowing 'burner' phones to avoid parental monitoring or when phone privileges are lost."
  • "[G]iving their significant others or friends the password to social media accounts so they can 'manage' their accounts when their phones are taken away."

P.S. Don't forget Finstas ... private Instagram feeds under a false username that allows kids to post inappropriate photos to a close circle of people.

A 2016 survey from the Pew Research Center found about 50% parents said they had ever checked their children’s phone calls and text messages — or friended their kids on social media (if they knew what social media their kids were using). But parents were less likely to use tech-based tools to monitor, block or track their teens.

"Many parents are just plain overwhelmed — and often far too trusting," per AP.

  • A cybersecurity consultant: “When you give this kid, at the ripe old age of 11, this ominous device, it’s like giving them the keys to their brand new Mercedes and saying, 'Sweetheart you can go to Vegas. You can drive to Texas, Florida, New York, wherever you want to go.'"
  • The consultant, retired police detective Rich Wistock, tells parents to offer the “Golden Ticket” — no punishment when kids come to them about mistakes they’ve made online or help they need with a social media problem.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.