Cell Phone Technology Part 2 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Cell Phone Technology Part 2

February 23, 2006 -- Posted at 12:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- With cell phone's now equipped with Internet capabilities, the world wide web is more accessible than ever.

We all know the dangers chat rooms and blogs posses, as more and more teens are communicating with strangers online, but that threat isn't limited to use on just home computers anymore.

"The more functionality these phones and these types of devices have, the greater the likelihood the predator is going to be using them. The fact that it is new and they might expect law enforcement is not on top of the game as we are with computers, that might encourage them to use the cell phone that much more," said Arkansas State Police Special Agent, Hoyt Harness.

Many kids today have these high tech/high style "do it all" cell phones.

"You can get free text messaging, set it to video phone, and you can even get on the Internet," said Valley View student, Katy Spencer.

"My phone has camera, video, and I can do pretty much anything I want on it," said another Valley View student, Madison Maddox.

Doing anything she wants could also mean predators have the ability to do anything they want to do, or need to do to reach your child.

Parents can check phone bill records, text messages, and Internet use as safety precautions.

You can't always check phone records with the popular pay as you go "trac-phones", which are virtually untrackable.

"It's just very easy to use so parents usually just come into the store and buy their child airtime," said Target manager, Richard McLeod.

After the airtime is used up--there's no bill, and no record of calls.

Experts say that might not be the safest plan.

"A telephone company that provides you with detailed billing records at the end of the month...that's the one you want. No matter how you end up paying, so that you can see the numbers dialed, and the numbers received, and that is something the parents should look at every month when it comes in the mail," said Harness.

There is also the little kid friendly fire-fly phone.

"You can actually have a 9-1-1 button on it. It also has a button to let the kid be able to call their mom or dad. It's a one-touch button so that they can have access to call their parents at any time," said McLeod.

"If you're giving a child that access to call out--make sure you keep track of who's calling in.

You can even use instant messenger on a cell phone where predators can easily engage an unassuming teen into a dangerous online conversation over the phone.

"If I don't know you, than you can't talk to me because I have to accept them before they can talk to me. That's just my personal rule, and I guess to satisfy my parents," said Maddox.

Many parents agree the great thing about cell phones is having the ability to be able to reach their child at any time they want....but on the other hand, so can everyone else.

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