There is little doubt that teens know technology better than their parents. Now there is anecdotal data that suggest that teen stalkers and abusers are leveraging the built in capabilities of cell phones to empower them to abuse even more. The article is mainly about teen abuse as the quotes below suggest, but the bit on the GPS cell phone tracking is pretty interesting and illuminating.
Here are some of the snippets from the article:
Claudia Martinez, a community educator at Day One, the only organization in New York City that works exclusively with teenagers on dating violence and abuse, led the workshop discussing the ways young people are forced to deal with such violence given their limited options.
Teen dating violence often goes overlooked by authorities and domestic violence agencies, and Martinez noted that often adults minimize the experiences of teens without realizing that a serious problem could be occurring.
Many cases involve partners breaking into survivors’ Facebook accounts. Some abusers even go as far as installing GPS tracking systems to keep control.
“There is an app on the iPhone that has GPS on it, if you turn it on, your friends can see where you are and it’s really easy to install,” Martinez said. Some abusers go as far as tracking through parental features on a cell phone.
The important thing for teens and parents to take away from this is to ensure cell phone security. Here are some helpful hint things to think about when considering cell phone safety:
- Never let anyone download and install something on your phone without your permission. This means periodically going through the installed apps on your phone to see what is on there.
- Parents are in charge of the cell phone if they are the one paying for it. A parent is ultimately responsible for the device.
- Never give out your username and password to your phone provider. This way no one can activate the parental controls on the phone without your knowledge
If you are getting abused, please reach out and get help. You don’t deserve it and it needs to stop.
If you are an abuser you need to stop and get help.