9 Most Dangerous Apps for Kids
Internet safety is just like any other kind of safety. Your child's safety is more important than their privacy. As a parent, you aren't being nosy by checking their cell phone, you are being responsible. Listed below are several apps that may put your child at risk.
Whisper - Allows users in a close range to post secrets and chat anonymously. A perfect tool for ill-intentioned users.
YikYak - Users are anonymous and can post comments within a 5 mile range. Allows students to slander/bully others.
Kik - Free app-based alternative texting service that allows texts/pictures to be sent without being logged in the phone history. (similar apps: Viber, WhatsApp, TextNow)
Easier for students to talk to strangers without parents' knowledge because it bypasses the providers' SMS. Children think they can't get caught "sexting". Strangers can send students friend requests.
Snapchat - Allows you to capture an image or video and make it available to a recipient for a specific time. When the time is up, the picture/video disappears, according to the App. (They can still be retrieved. Similar apps; Poke, Wire, and Wickr) Kids can send/receive inappropriate pictures and believe they can't get caught.
Vine - Allows users to watch and post six second videos. Porn videos pop up into the feed. Search for porn is easy. Predators use this to find a child's location and contact them.
ChatRoulette and Omegle - Allows video chats with strangers. Webcam can be set up by predators to send/receive inappropriate material and arrange contact.
Tinder - Users flag posted pictures they think are attractive. If viewer responds with a flag, they can then be connected. Used to arrange meetings.
Poof - Hides other apps on the phone. The icons will no longer show up on the screen. If your child has this app, ask what is being hidden.
Discuss the potential risks online
Establish family media rules, have understanding that you may check phone any time
Have a common charging area
Remind students to NOT take photos at school
Explain why a posted photo should not identify who is in it
Explain the long term consequences of posting/viewing inappropriate material (legal, social, employment, etc.)
Adapted from www.crosswalk.com
Check out www.Netsmartz.org which is the site for the Center for Missing and Exploited Children