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15 Dangerous Apps Every Parent Should Know

The advent of the digital age--and specifically the Internet, smartphones, and social media--have brought unique and daunting challenges to the current generation of parents.


The very technology helps us parents poses a threat to our kids is frustrating because it is constantly changing. 

The best way to face these parenting obstacle is to educate yourself about them, these tips are here to help with that.

Social Media Checklist for Parents

  • Talk openly and often about online safety with your kids
  • Install safety monitoring software on all devices
  • Limit screen time & designate specific areas for internet use
  • Establish clear ground rules & principles 
  • Stay up-to-date on social media & online trends 

Additional Resources

15 Dangerous Social Media Platforms

TINDER
What is it? 
  • An app used to find dates and hook-ups using GPS tracking
Dangers?
  • It's easy for adults and minors to find each other
  • The "ratting" system can be used for bullying 
SNAPCHAT
What is it?
  • A photo-sharing app that allows users to send photos to specific people, assigning the photos an allotted time--after which they will "disappear"
Dangers?
  • It's very popular for sexting
  • Users can easily screenshot or save images, that aren't really gone 
  • Saved images can be used to send "revenge porn" or any other nefarious purpose
BLENDR 
What is it?
  • A "flirting" app allowing users to send photos/videos to anyone on their "friends" list and rate their "hotness"
Dangers?
  • App uses GPS that is not authenticated 
  • This loophole allows predators to easily find minors or anyon they're looking for
  • Popular for "sexting"
  • "Hotness" rating allows for bullying
KIK MESSENGER 
What is it?
  • An instant messenger app that allows users to send videos, pics, and GIFs
Dangers?
  • Very popular for sexting
  • No parental controls or authenticating
  • Easy for predators to find your child 
WHISPER
What is it?
  • An anonymous confession app
Dangers? 
  • Anonymity of app lets users post pics and cofessions of someone who isn't you
  • Potential to lead to bullying
  • Uses GPS, so predators can find anyone easily 
ASK.FM
What is it?
  • A popular Q&A social networking site used almost exclusively by kids
Dangers?
  • Creates a virutal, consequence-free forum of cyber bullying
  • Nine documented suicide cases have been linked to the site in the UK and the USA
YIK YAK
What is it?
  • An app that allows users to post 200 character "Yaks" that can be viewed by the 500 people closest to them as determined by GPS
Dangers? 
  • Users put sexaully explict content on the app, although it's anonymous
  • Can reveal persoanl details that makes users easily found, especially with GPS
POOF, HIDDEN APPS, HIDE IT PRO, APP LOCK 
What are they?
  • Apps designed to hide others apps on your phone
  • Not all of these apps are currently available, but if you're child already has them, they can still use them
Dangers?
  • Allow your child to conceal apps from their phone screen, so that you can't find them
  • Parents have to be diligent about searching for them 
OMEGLE
What is it?
  • A video chatting app
Dangers?
  • Users are anonymouse, so it's easy for your child to make friends with a predator
  • Known to be a predator favorite 
OOVOO
What is it?
  • A video chatting app where users can chat with up to 12 people at a given time
Dangers? 
  • While not terrible in itslef, your kids MUST use the privacy settings
  • Your kids should only let people who know them chat with them 
MEET ME
What is it?
  • An app that uses GPS to allow users to meet new people who live nearby 
Dangers?
  • No age verification
  • Account is linked to Facebook, which makes your location easily identifiable to predators
  • Popularity rating makes seeking approval from strangers seem like a game 
SKOUT
What is it?
  • A flirting app used to meet new people 
Dangers? 
  • Ages aren't verified
  • Teen version available, but security features can be bypassed by using a fake birthday
  • Adult version exposes kids to profanity, suggestive images, and private messaging with strangers who can see their location 
VINE
What is it?
  • An app that allows users to watch and post 6 second vidoes 
Dangers? 
  • Most videos are harmeless, though porn videos do pop up in the feed, exposing your children to explicity imagery
  • Can easily search for/access porn videos on the app
  • Predators utilize app to search teens and find their location; can connect with teens via other messaging apps 
DOWN 
What is it?
  • A dating app connected to Facebook 
Dangers?
  • Allows you to classify your friends into people you be "down" with "hooking up" with
  • Creates a normalcy for a sexual hook-up culture for your child 
CHAT ROULETTE
What is it?
  • A video chat site that randomly matches you with someone around the globe to have a video chat
Dangers?
  • Very popular for cybersex and pornography
  • Potential to be randomly matched with a chat partner who's nude in front of their camera
  • No parameters in place to stop the person you are chatting with from recording your chat and sharing it