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Hum

It isn't grades, sports teams or bullying that have parents worried this back-to-school season. According to a recent survey, parents' top concerns for their children this school year is sexting, the practice of sending racy and inappropriate text and picture messages via cell phone.

Nearly half of the parents polled (49%) listed their top concern as sexting, followed by text messaging at 33%. In addition, 49% of respondents said their child had received an inappropriate text message or picture, and 21% reported their child has received a sext. The survey was conducted by SpectorSoft, a software company that produces internet and cell phone monitoring programs.

Lisa Shaw, senior director of Child Safety at SpectorSoft, says sexting is a major concern for parents because teens and tweens may not grasp the severity of the actions they are taking.

"There's not much time between the impulse and pushing the 'send' button. The judgment is very poor with tweens and teens. We have seen people in our government making these mistakes and there is that fine line between what's funny and appropriate and what isn't."

Parents often get their children a cell phone to use as a tool to keep tabs on them and make sure they are safe, according to Shaw, citing 89% of respondents saying they would like to track their children?s location through their cell phone. Keeping tabs on children is good for their safety, but the problem is, children often become more "savvy" with the device than their parents and use the phone as their own communication tool, sometimes inappropriately.

Here are some tips for protecting your children while online and using their cell phones.

No. 1: Get their passwords.

No. 2: Take note of the device your child is using.

No. 3: 'Friend' your kids.

No. 4: Consider parental control software.

No. 5: Talk to them.

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Pierce28

Shouldn't number 5 be number 1?

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Hum

Shouldn't number 5 be number 1?

I guess that would be assuming you can trust your kids. :laugh:

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nominak

I guess that would be assuming you can trust your kids. :laugh:

Well if you were a good parent, then there's no reason talking wont work.

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Sranshaft

Tip no1. Don't give them a cell phone.

Job done. I never had a cell phone growing up and millions more never did, and lo and behold we all turned out just fine. If security and whatnot is really an issue, then a cell phone is not the answer. Talk with your kids, know what they are doing, get to know their friends. These are the things good parenting requires. To think handing a 16 year old the newest and greatest cell phone will protect them is naive and just plain half-ass parenting. And if it does come time that they need a cell phone, get them a crappy dumb-phone.

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Growled

Tip no1. Don't give them a cell phone.

Agreed. If you feel they must have a phone get them a dumb phone that can not send pictures or even fix it where they can't send texts. It's unreal how crazy parents are these days.

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