Tech experts warn about Whisper app following 2 Upstate arrests - FOX Carolina 21

ATTENTION PARENTS

Tech experts warn about Whisper app following 2 Upstate arrests in last week

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Whisper app. (9/19/17 FOX Carolina) Whisper app. (9/19/17 FOX Carolina)
(FOX Carolina) -

In this day and age, phones are always within arms reach. With the growing technology comes concern, especially for parents of teens and tweens.

"I teach them if it's someone you don't know to block them and don't communicate with them," said Tech Expert Deveren Werne.

Werne said he stays up to date on the latest apps, and there's a relatively new one he's got his eye on. Whisper is an app that allows users to post anonymously, and its quickly gaining popularity.

"They are picking it up because it's easy to use,” Werne said. “There aren't a lot of sign-up requirements."

Once signed up, users view pages and pages of images. Then users can click on someone's profile and have the option of striking up a conversation.

"Anytime you post identifying information about yourself you become an easy target,” Werne said. “Especially the way technology is moving so fast."

So fast, he said most apps now have geo locations down to the mile.

Now, Ware Shoals Police are investigating two separate cases they said involve the app, Whisper.

The first, 26-year-old Joshua Vaughn, who is accused of sending explicit messages to a 14-year-old. Early in the conversation, Vaughn admitted to being a Laurens County paramedic, but then the conversation continued.

"It allows you to communicate with people through pictures and images pretty much," Werne said.

The report shows the two did discuss sending a photo, and that's when Vaughn told her he could get in trouble. Stating “Because you're technically a minor so that's child porn. Lol".

Then days later, another investigation, this time an Anderson County Volunteer Fire Fighter charged after police said he sent a nude photo to a teenage girl on the Whisper app.

"Being a technology person, at the end of the day I limit my kids on their apps and I check their phones," Werne said.

The tech expert said parents need to be aware of what apps are out there so they can monitor the downloads. He also suggests talking to children often about what information can be shared publicly.

If you don't want your children using the app, Whisper actually shows how parents can block the download in the first place.

In the terms and use section of the app, it clearly states you need to be 13 years of age or older to download. If you're between the ages of 13 and 18, you should not use without adult supervision.

The app's community guidelines read: don't be mean, don't be gross and don't use whisper to break the law.

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