Teenagers and Cell PhonesHere at , we pay attention.  We listen and learn and share our expertise and case example outcomes with our Clients.  It usually starts out like “I bet you haven’t heard this before” and in most cases we have.  What we haven’t heard are the thought patterns and real life situations with a teenager.  Therefore, we asked an 18 year old female granddaughter of one of our employees the importance of her phone, what she does with it, how she sets up her passwords and who she shares with.  This is what she told us:

The life of an 18 year old is so drama filled and complexly effortless now that everyone has a cell phone. Just one touch of a button and you’ve blocked someone from your life, just one emoji and you’ve ruined someone’s day. Being an 18 year old female nowadays revolves around your phone and all the people it connects you to. It’s used it to check the time, listen to music, figure out plans, and build self-confidence with every liked picture or retweet. If in an uncomfortable situation, just whip out your cell phone and scroll through Instagram. No teenager can stand to be bored for one second without finding something to post or someone to text. Adults have pushed kids out from in front of the TV, now they just shuffle into their room and watch Netflix in bed on their phones. Try being the only kid who doesn’t have their phone at a gathering or birthday party. You can’t share what you’re doing to Snapchat, can’t text someone when you’re bored, and you can’t even carry on in a conversation because it’s probably about that picture someone just sent in a group chat. Without a phone, in your free time, you can’t stay in, because you have nothing to do and you can’t go out with friends because all of your contacts are saved in your phone and it’s not like teenagers have an address book.

Many teenagers don’t give their Social Media passwords out to anyone unless they have full trust in them, granted many don’t have different passwords because honestly who has the time to remember so many different passwords? Some teenager’s share their passwords with their parents and their boyfriends/girlfriends know the one password they have for almost everything. Some boyfriends/girlfriends share just about everything with each other starting with the password to unlock their phone. They share Amazon Prime accounts, Netflix accounts, and we even know each other’s PIN for our debit cards.

The way that I accept friend requests is probably not the smartest, but smarter than most people I know, who let anyone follow them just so that they have more followers. When I get a friend request or request to follow and I don’t know them, I do all the stalking on their profile that I can just to make sure that they aren’t a creep and check that it’s not a fake account. About once a month I will go through my followers and unfollow or block some people that I don’t know or that are “ghost followers” who don’t like, comment, or post anything to that social media site and could possibly just be a fake account. I have grown up with my family telling me to be wary of others on the internet and to make everything private so that random people can’t just find me and know all of my business, so I take that to heart.

A friend of a friend of a friend is not always a friend.  How do you feel about the amount of information being given out by them that may get into the wrong hands or used in a manner it wasn’t intended for?   This particular teenager stated that she accepts invitations from people she doesn’t know, and then she goes and checks out their profile, if she doesn’t think they play any role in her social life, she will delete them.  But the damage is done by that time:  She has allowed someone not only into her social circle but the opportunity to have placed cell phone spyware on her life sustaining device, one she is never without and one she doesn’t give a second thought to using no matter where she is.  Not only has she opened the door for the stalker to see her whereabouts, but she has opened the door for her friends and family to be exposed, as their contact information is in her phone.  This isn’t a common occurrence now, but a few years back it wasn’t even possible, times change, technology improves every day and so do the creepy people’s ability to access someone else’s life.  In this innocent decision her life has taken on a piggy back intruder.  There are signs that a phone has been hacked or cell phone spying is occurring.  If your child is complaining about battery life, the device is getting hot and if there is a data plan and the data is being used much faster than usual, look into it.  And if the answers you receive don’t solve the problem, look further.  It could be deeper and more personal problem.  Remember, cell phones are miniature computers and are capable of doing basically whatever a computer can do, therefore they are susceptible to cell phone tapping, spy listening devices which are types of audio hijack possibilities.   A mobile phone forensic analysis can be conducted on anyone’s phone, with our without the passcode.  International Investigator’s cell phone forensics is for mobile phone spyware detection, cell phone hack detection or forensic data recovery.  Not only will you keep your teenager safe, you will have peace of mind that whoever is spying on your child isn’t outside your household.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations