The Brentwood Police Officers Association put out a tip list Friday for parents to monitoring their children's cellphones, including finding hidden files.

  • Before buying your child a cellphone, set rules for its use, including what sort of information and images are appropriate to share via text.

  • Make it known to your child that you will examine their phone and the contents of the phone at anytime. There are several free apps available on the iPhone App Store and Android Play Store, which allow people to hide images or files that will not show up in their gallery. Check your child's phone for the following apps, KeepSafe, Hide it Pro, Photo Locker, Gallery Vault, Vaulty and Video Locker. These apps require passwords to access them. Ask for the password to examine the images and files hidden in these apps.

  • Software such as Stealth Genie allows you to monitor your child's phone remotely and access their activity.

  • Know what safeguards are available on your child's phone, such as turning off and/or blocking texting and picture features.

  • Talk to your child about the possible social, academic and legal consequences of sexting. They could face humiliation, lose educational opportunities, and get in trouble with the law.

  • Encourage your child to not be a bystander or an instigator. If he or she receives a "sext," discuss why it is important that he or she not forward the image to anyone else.

  • Remind your child that they can talk to you if they receive a nude picture on their cellphone.

  • Check your child's personal laptop if they have one to see what they have recently backed up from their cell phone or electronic devices.

  • Report any nude or seminude images that your child receives to law enforcement or contact www.cybertipline.com.

    The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding the case can call police detectives at 925-778-2441 or 925-634-6911.

    Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.