We recently research a couple different articles in child safety regarding cell phone apps. We found some seriously dangerous App's that you do not want your kids to have on their mobile devices. We wanted to share these App's with you and a brief description of why they can potentially become dangerous.
Many children do not have mobile devices, smart phones, etc at this age, however many children do/ or will in the near future. If your child already has a phone, you might want to take a look to see if they have any of these already installed on their phone. If so, consider doing a little more research than what we provide so both you and your child can make informed decisions about using them. Also, take care to check the age restrictions listed by most apps before downloading. Many parents are unaware they exist and few of the apps actually have any real age verification process. Want to make sure your kids can't download any apps without approval?
WE KNOW A WAY. (iPhones / Androids)
1. On an iPhone go into SETTINGS > GENERAL > RESTRICTIONS. You'll be prompted to create a code and then you can select any phone functions that you don't want your child to have free access to without your OKAY.
2. On an Android go into SETTINGS, USERS. Select ADD USER/ RESTRICTED PROFILE. You will be prompted to set-up a passcode and then you can choose what they can access on their own and what they'll need you to enter the passcode to access.
This is an instant messenger/social networking hybrid. Kids can send basic messages like texting, but also photos and files. Since it is used over the internet and anyone can attempt to connect with your child. This app allows kids to send private messages that can be very difficult for parents to access or which can be easily deleted. Since photos are involved, there is considerable opportunity for children to exposed to inappropriate images. In addition, this is commonly used app for sexting.
Whisper's tag line is "Express Yourself- Share Secrets - Meet New People." Already this doesn't sound good for kids, right? Anonymity is the lure of this social meet up app, where names are never used, but location can be provided within a one mile radius. Again, because kids are online using it, they are open to anyone who wants to try and connect with them. This is yet another app with pictures sharing capabilities as well, making it appealing for both cyber bullying and sexually oriented interactions.
A social networking app set up in a question answer forum that offers complete anonymity and no monitoring whatsoever by the company. This app has already been involved in numerous serious cyber-bullying incidents both in the U.S. and abroad. There is very little ability to control privacy settings and even if your child blocks someone who is harassing them, the individual can still access their profile and view all interactions your child is having on the app.
Twitter meets texting with complete anonymity thrown in. A child can send an anonymous message of up to 200 character sand then using GPS, the message can be read by the nearest 500 other people using the app. No images with this one, but it still has gained popularity quickly and has become a powerful tool for bullying and sexual content.
Used to make and share short videos, six seconds in length that loop over and over again, this app is actually owned by Twitter. A messaging function has been added since the app launched and those using the app can search based on location. As one would expect with anything that has video capabilities, explicit material is abundantly available and not hard for children to stumble upon. There has also been a trend of teens sharing videos of fights at school. Although twitter has made some attempts to clean things up, it still is a questionable app for kids and is best used in the presence on parents.
Here's another with a great slogan- "The anonymous, simple, and fun way to find friends who are down for the night." Operating via a connection with FB, people can group their friends as just buddies or those that they'd like to get "down" with, for a little, well... you know. Those looking for a litter, well... you know, can search their friends and see if they can find a match.
The flame is a good indicator that this app is a little too hot for a young audience. Yet another hook-up facilitator, anyone using the app can upload their photo and then browse others photos indicating "interest" with a hear or "no way" with a big X. The app then suggest those nearby who have "hearted" you and if you like them back, a connection is made which enables messaging. I'm sure you can come up with how many ways this could go bad on so many levels.
Basically chatting with a random stranger, either via standard messaging or with video. For added risk, the app can connect with a Facebook account and the will attempt to connect people using the app to those who have similar "Likes". There is nothing to keep kids from being exposed to inappropriate content and there is ample opportunity for personal information to be shared. When a conversation ends, the chat log can be saved and then a link will be provided than can be shared freely.
Combined with the randomness of roulette with spontaneous video chat, meaning you never know who you're going to be paired with or what they might show you. Google this one, and you;ll discover that it's not something anyone should want to be a part of, let alone a young person.
Big thanks to sunshinesandhurricanes.com for providing us with this great information!
Hope these brief descriptions help.
Boogie Bear & Friends.