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Though most teens are only sharing day-to-day moments with an already-tight social group, there can be unintended consequences when teens think temporary messages really disappear forever or when they make mean comments under cover of anonymous apps.
Here's what you need to know about the anonymous and disappearing-message apps you're likely to find on your kid's phone: Anonymous Apps and Sites On the positive side, going incognito online helps us express ourselves in ways we might not be able to in the real world.
But it also offers lots of other mini-apps that let you do everything from exchange virtual greeting cards to chat with strangers.
Users don't have to reveal real names, so there's a layer of anonymity.
In the top right corner of the screen, you will see the word "Secret," which you should tap.
If they don't want a message to hang around, they'll use a temporary app such as This so-called "narrowcasting" (as opposed to broadcasting) is probably a positive trend and prevents some oversharing.
But it doesn't mean teens can't still get themselves in trouble.
And, if a message thread is reported, "recent messages from that conversation will be decrypted and sent securely from your device to our Help Team for review.
We won't tell the person you're talking to that you reported it." Those violations can include "bullying or harassment, threats, and sexual violence or exploitation." Also, even if a conversation has been set to self destruct or disappear, Facebook can still access it if it is reported.
Talk to them about their online reputations -- not in terms of "getting caught" by teachers, college-admissions officers, or future employers but as a matter of being true to themselves.