As parents, it’s our responsibility to protect our kids. Having a parenting website or blog I am always stumbling across stuff and children are in a similar position. Seeing that we live in a digital era, keeping up with all the digital trends can seem exhausting and frustrating. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay informed about any app that may be of concern. Apps on their own don’t pose an actual threat; however, they provide the opportunity to persuade, expose, and potentially lead your child to make bad decisions and even be harmed. Some of the apps parents should know about include:
This app has a calculator icon posing as something it isn’t; in fact, it functions as a secret photo vault. The app hides all inappropriate photos and videos in plain sight, which are disguised as a simple calculator. Users can also use it to write and store private notes and even access the internet with a private browser. The calculator acts as the password input.
This online community app encourages users to anonymously share secrets, which others then like, share, or comment on. Although it allows for creative expression, users may be exposed to explicit language, cyber-bullying, reference to drugs and alcohol, or even take personal content viral. In addition, Whisper shows a user’s location. The app also promotes private communication between users, which increases the chances of your child being in danger.
This app allows users to exchange all kinds of things, including messages, videos, photos, gifts, sketches, etc. Users can also join special groups and video chat with other users, offering a more face-to-face feel than regular texting. The app doesn’t offer any parental controls, not to mention, there’s no way of authenticating users. This makes it easy for sexual predators to interact with minors. The app is password protected, allowing teenagers to prevent parents from seeing their activity on the app. Kik comes with built-in features that allow users to access and share web content that would normally be filtered on home computers.
Here, users interact in a Q&A format –weather with friends, peers, or anonymous users. Sometimes users target one person and the questions can get suggestive, insulting, and nasty. The app has been linked to some of the most severe forms of cyber-bullying cases that have even led to suicides. Although creators of the app have added a button where users can report abuse, it’s not enough to protect your child.
Hot or Not
In this app, users upload their pictures and get rated by other users. The app will let you see how hot you are and even view the list of the hottest people nearby. The end result here is a hook-up. It goes without saying that if your child gets a bad rating, it can lower their self-esteem.
Yubo (Formerly Called Yellow)
This is basically Tinder for teens. It’s designed to allow teenagers to flirt with each other. Users are able to swipe other users that they’re interested in. They can also exchange texts, photos, and video chats with strangers. There no way to verify age on this app, which means there’s a chance for kids to the exploited by sexual predators.
The internet is a wonderful place for young people to connect, communicate, and access valuable information, but it comes with potential risks. Plus, they may be unaware of the hidden costs and advertising found in these apps. It’s important to engage your kids in open, frank discussions on how to stay safe online to help protect them from long-term consequences.