Nine apps parents need to be aware of to combat online predators

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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)-- It's more common than ever for children to use cellphones and tablets, and some apps make it possible for online predators to target your child.

Lt. J.R. Talamantez with the Panama City Beach Police Department's Intelligence Unit said, "Monitor your children's internet activity, know who they're talking to, but also have difficult conversations with them about the dangers associated with the internet."

But as a parent, are you aware of what's on your child's phone? Police say you need to be aware of these nine apps: Bumble, Holla, Snapchat, Live Me, Whisper, Hot or Not, Ask FM, Calculator%, and Kik.

Some apps are designed to look like something else as a way to throw parents off. Calculator% looks like a calculator, but it actually stores secret photos.

Although it can be difficult, parents are encouraged to talk about these dangers with their children.

Amy Seal, a parent to high school and middle school-aged children, said, "I think just talking to your kids is super important to, you know, make sure that they know that there are people out there that can and are trying to get into their phones and their electronics."

The Panama City Beach Police Department offers the following tips to parents to help safeguard their children:
-Know who your children are talking to online. That person posing as a 15-year-old could be a middle-aged man.
-Know what sites your children are visiting.
-Do not allow children unlimited access to the internet.
-Stay involved in your children’s lives.
-Open a dialogue with your children about the dangers of the internet.
-Be educated yourself on the internet and know how to do history searches, know popular sites for kids, and consider purchasing a parental control online monitoring device.
-If you have concerns, contact law enforcement.