New tech to track kid’s smartphone use

You may wonder what your child is doing on their phone -who are they texting, what types of videos are they watching, and are they doing things you don’t want them to do?

Parents now have some new options to keep an eye on their child’s smartphone screen time.

Net Nanny allows you to block entire websites and tells you want your child is searching for.

RELATED: apps to help parents with their child’s homework

Secure Teen allows you to see everyone your teen is talking to and allows you to read texts.

Teen App will give you your child’s exact location and allow you to remotely lock the phone if you don’t approve of how they are using it.

Mother Andrea Picerno said it’s hard to keep track of a child’s every move so these apps could help.

“It’s for their own good and we want what’s best for them,” said mother Picerno.

RELATED: New texting slang - a cheat sheet for parents

But is all this spying really a good idea?

“As a parent you have to know yourself and whether you can handle the truth or not,” said therapist Dr. Lynn Wadelton in an interview with our sister station Action Jax News.

Monitoring what your child is doing on a smartphone and online is a good thing but you should talk to your kids about why you are doing it, according to Dr. Wadelton.

“Monitoring with a ‘caught ya- you are in trouble’ mindset destroys the parent/teen trust in a relationship,” Dr. Wadelton said.

Not surprisingly- teens aren’t thrilled with the idea of snooping by mom and dad.

“Parents should lay off those apps because it kind of gets in the way of our life,” said teenager Amanda Gondeck.

Thieves love to steal these vehicles

There is a new list of the most stolen automobiles- and two Honda models are in the top spots.

The 1997 Honda Accord, the 1998 Honda Civic, and the 1998 Ford Pickup were the top three vehicles stolen in the U.S. in 2016, according to the latest National Insurance Crime Bureau “Hot Wheels” report.

In Ohio, the top three vehicles stolen were the 2002 Dodge Caravan, the 2005 Chevrolet Pickup, and the 2004 Ford Pickup.

RELATED: Stolen car driven into sinkhole

“It would truly break my heart because I work hard for my car,” said Nickie Addison of Trotwood.

To prevent vehicle thefts there are simple steps you can take, according to AAA Dayton South Insurance agent Andrew Thielman.

Lock your car, roll up your windows and avoid a major key-fob error.

“A lot of people are making the mistake of leaving the fobs actually in the car itself. A lot of the cars today, all you have to do is touch the handle and the car will open. You just hit a button and off you go,” said Theilman.

RELATED: Local woman clings to stolen car

If you have an older vehicle, Theilman recomends and after market alarm system, and consider using a save driving monitor which are available from many insurance companies.

The plug-in devices keep an eye on your driving, but they also use GPS and can alert you if your vehicle is moved, Theilman said.

A retail evolution is underway

As some retailers like Kmart continue to close stores- another type of retailer is flourishing.

By “changing from an extreme value retailer format to a convenience retailer format,” Dollar General is leading a brick-and-mortar retail evolution, according to U.D. associate professor of marketing Serdar Durmusoglu.

RELATED: Kmart closures lead to layoffs

Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores seem to be everywhere- some just blocks from each other competing for business in the same neighborhood - and this is no accident.

Convenience stores have a higher profit margin than a traditional grocery or big box retailer, and they are drawing in more customers with close-by, upgraded stores and Walmart-like prices in a smaller space, according to Durmusoglu.

MORE: What the retail closures mean

“I think we are going to see much more cut-throat competition in the convenience store area and Dollar General is going to have a particular say in how this industry is going to be shaped,” Durmusoglu said, adding that traditionally larger retailers like Target and Walgreens are now testing smaller stores and online retailer Amazon is testing a brick-and-mortar convenience store in Seattle.

Rachel Murray is a WHIO-TV consumer reporter. You can watch her reports on News Center 7, follow her on Twitter @RMurrayWHIO, and like her fan page on Facebook.

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