Parents share concerns with sharing locations on social media apps

Some of them say keeping location settings off is the wisest decision

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - So many kids have cell phones these days, and one concern among their parents is sharing their locations.

“Most people in my school have phones, and they just keep their phones in their pockets all day,” Zachary Stanfield, an 11 year-old with a cell phone, said.

Zachary has had a phone since he was nine years-old. He’s still only 11, so his family has some house rules.

“We have age appropriate settings on his stuff, locations closed off, and we know his user names, passwords, who his friends are and who he is talking to,” Debbie Stanfield, Zachary’s mother, said.

“I tell her when I get home, so she doesn’t think I’m still at the school or anything,” Zachary said.

“He’s in a lot of afterschool programs. If they’re cancelled for the day, he can text me. [Then,] you know he’s on the bus. He’s on the way home, so I know where he is,” Debbie said.

Most phones these days have your location linked to your phone. Zachary has a phone for safety reasons, and his family feels keeping location setting off is part of that.

“I can see where my mom is, plus I can always send my current location to her. Another thing about this is I’m really secure when it comes to this stuff, so I don’t turn it on, but I could turn it on,” Zachary said.

Zachary uses Instagram and Snapchat. Both have the ability to share locations, but he keeps the location settings off on both apps..

Snapchat can be a lot of fun, but one way to protect your kid is to make sure their friends are the only ones who can see their stories.

“All your people on Snapchat, they can all see and track where you are. That’s why I only have my friends on Snapchat, so they can only know, because I trust them,” Zachary said.

If any unfamiliar numbers call Zach's phone, his mom makes sure she’s the one to answer it. She added all these rules are to make sure he stays safe

“It’s very important for them to be safe. I know some kids will feel like you’re spying on them, but it’s not that at all. It’s just keeping them safe,” Debbie said.

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