Apps are great way to communicate and socialize. With the boom of social media and smart devices, apps have evolved to meet our demanding needs. But in the wrong hands and used in the wrong ways, apps can be an easy way for predators to contact kids.
Smart phones can give kids a false sense of safety when it comes to anonymity. More and more kids are feeling comfortable giving out personal information, giving predators even more access to our children.
Parents need to stay informed and educated in the ever changing app world. Below is a small list of potentially dangerous apps that ever parent should be aware of.
Yik Yak– post anonymously with locals, up to 500 can view. GPS is used and sexually explicit content, vulgar language, and personal attacks are common.
Poof– an app that allows kids to hide an app or apps with a single touch.
SnapChat– allows photos to be seen for 10 seconds then they disappear- but the user can take a screen shot so any photo can and does live forever.
Down– an app that allows the user to categorize their Facebook in terms of “hang out” with or “down to hook up” with.
Whisper– allows to post anonymously and share secrets to locals using the same app, searching for others as close as 1 mile.
Omegle – a video chat that the user doesn’t register for. You are only known as “you” and “stranger” and matches the user to others through common Facebook likes.
Kik Messenger– users can send private messages that parents can’t see. Identifying other users is nearly impossible.
Its a parents responsibility to make sure the apps downloaded on our devices are safe for children. Every brand of phone has settings and locking abilities where you can block certain apps or create a short password in order to download an app. Make sure these safeguards are in place. Apps can be a fun way to socialize so lets make sure our kids are safe and secure in the ones we allow them to use.