Downloading an app on a smartphone is simple and most people can do it. Parents are now worried some of those people downloading apps have bad intentions.

Robert Peters said his 10-year-old daughter was playing “Wordfued.” It’s an app you can download that is very similar to scrabble. During the game, players can chat. One girl explained while playing the game, she was asked inappropriate questions.

“He started asking can you take your clothes off,” Peters said.

The conversation escalated as the person chatting continued to be inappropriate.

“Can you got to the backyard, do you have bushes, how tall are they, can anybody see you?” Peters explained.

Peters said while he doesn’t know for sure who was messaging his daughter, he believes it was a predator.

“This is not this person’s first time doing this, this is obviously an adult trying to lure children,” Peters added.

As a father of three, he said he is strict with how his children handle social media, but still something like this can happen.

“No matter how much you do it could still happen,” Peters said.

He called the Cape Coral Police Department after the first inappropriate message. The officer had no way to track down who was on the other side of the phone. Despite not being able to catch whoever it was, they did put out a statement for parents to be aware of.

A lot of the seemingly harmless game apps also have a messaging component where a potential predator could attempt contact with your child.

Apps can also request your location, therefore, people viewing the messages would be able to see where your child is when the message, picture, and/or video is sent. There is no perfect app to block everything that you don’t want your child to see. But using a combination of parental controls, spot checking your child’s devices, and having an open relationship with them can become a huge deterrent for a predator and your child.

Peter’s daughter said she will no longer use the messaging portion of apps and urges others to do the same.

“I would say you can play it but don’t message people.”

Copyright 2018 WBBH/WZVN (Waterman Broadcasting). All rights reserved.



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