by Rose Cabrera
If you haven’t checked your kid’s phone yet, then it’s probably high-time you do it.
Although there’s nothing wrong with letting your kid use a smart phone, you also need to know how much liberty you should give your child. Too much of anything, particularly at a young age, can be harmful.
In guiding your child, here are the 10 apps you should be checking on his phone:
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps today. In fact, even celebrities use it. It’s an app that allows users to send pictures and recordings to their friends and set a time limit on how long these files will last. Unfortunately, with a false sense of security, kids can easily be encouraged to send things they shouldn’t be sharing.
If you see this app on your child’s phone, it’s essential that you re-iterate that what goes on the internet tends to stay there for good. There are apps that can actually capture his images before they get deleted.
Whisper enables its user to create anonymous confessions through texts superimposed on
images. Although it sounds harmless at first, this app actually allows sharing of geographical location and messaging as well. Sexual predators can use it to lure trusting and innocent kids to meet up with them.
YikYak is a social media channel that allows you to read posts from people within your area and to comment on them anonymously. These features are what make YikYak popular for cyber bullying. It can encourage kids to post derogatory comments on other kids and not get caught.
Vine allows users to post and share a 6-second clip of anything they want. Unfortunately, this app doesn’t have any strict rules about pornography and violence. Although it has an age requirement, it doesn’t have a solid way of verifying a user’s age. Because or how accessible its videos are, it’s easy for your children to view pornographic and adult contents on their feeds.
Aside from this, the app also enables its users to talk to anyone in and out of their friends list.
Since people can create an account under a false name, you’ll never know who your kid is really talking to.
9Gag is commonly used for finding and sharing memes. The risk with this app involves its
images not being strictly moderated. They can involve sexual, explicit and aggressive contents which are the exact things you don’t want your kids to see.
Tinder is a dating app that has a 17+ rating. It allows users to find and hook up with potential partners within the same area. When a person flags another one, they’ll be able to connect instantly. With this, it’s also possible for a pedophile to create a false account to get in touch with unsuspecting children. Aside from its threat to your kid’s safety, Tinder also creates the impression that good looks are very essential in connecting with other people.
Instagram is similar to any other social media sites in that it’s also widely used for cyber bullying. Aside from this, the app can also reveal your kid’s location. It even has the option to include his phone number in his profile page.
While these things can seem harmless, the idea that your child can be sharing personal information can mean a big security threat. Although there is an option to set profiles to private, you still won’t know who’s really following your kid’s page.
Kik is a messaging app that allows a user to send pictures, videos and other multimedia contents to another person without leaving a log on his phone. Because of this, Kik is often used by teens to share nudes and provocative messages without their parent’s knowledge. Since it doesn’t leave a log, a lot of sexual predators also use it to lure teenage girls.
Through Blendr, a user can send private messages, photos and videos to another person within his area. The app doesn’t use any authentication rules to verify a person’s identity or age.
Because of how free people can use the app, it’s commonly used for flirting and hooking up.
10. Ghost apps
These are the apps that are disguised as harmless applications to hide explicit and sensitive files. Most of the time, they look like calculators and calendars but once you open them, you’ll be prompted to key in a password.
For a parent, it’s essential that you create a strong and trusting relationship with your child.
Letting your kid know that he can easily reach out and talk to you can greatly limit the chances of him looking for other people’s attention. It will also help lessen the chances that he’ll hide things from you.
Rose Cabrera writes for TopSecurityReview.com. To know more about her in-depth security guides and essential home safety tips, you can check out more of her works by visiting the site’s home security blog.
It is fundamental to establish trust with your child and to take time to discuss these topics in detail, ask and answer all kind of questions so that the situation is clearly understood. Parents often tend to become very strict when it comes to security issues which can lead to misunderstandings and failure in making children understand, forcing them to hide things, which, as a result, makes them at a higher risk on getting into trouble.
When you find these apps on your kid’s device, before deleting them you should be very clear in explaining to your child why you need to uninstall them. They should understand the importance of safety and the dangers of these apps.
Other than deleting and explaining, you should also follow these things:
- Restrictions by age can be set up in your kid’s device to make sure they’ll only be downloading apps suitable for their age.
- Monitor the apps on your kid’s smartphone and make sure there aren’t any “hiding app”.
- If your kid already has a profile on the said dating sites, explain to them why it’s not appropriate and safe for them. Then, ask your child to take down the profile.
- Disable GPS feature in the device and make sure the camera isn’t turned on.
- Set limits and teach your kid about responsible use of technology. (from topsecurityreview)