Fifteen apps parents should know about
Are Social Media Apps Safe for children? Do you know if strangers have access to your children through an app? Is someone interacting inappropriately with your child?
Take a look at these social media apps that make it very easy for predators to connect with children. These are all apps that were found on the phones of suspects arrested for preying on children.
Meetme: It’s a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. The app’s users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
Calculator%: This is only one of several secret vault apps used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history. It allows evidence of sexting, sextortion, or other illegal activity to be concealed.
Skout: It’s a location-based dating app. While users under 17 years old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.
Whatsapp: This is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, as well as make calls and video chats.
Tiktok: It’s a new mobile device app popular with kids used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyber bullying and explicit content.
Badoo: This is a dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos based on location. The app is intended for adults only, but teens are known to create profiles.
Bumble: It’s similar to the popular dating app, Tinder, however, it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
Snapchat: It’s one of the most popular apps of 2018. While the app promises users can send a photo or video and it will disappear, recent features allow users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
FaceCast: is a global live video chat community. It allows users to live stream, add video clips, and utilize random match video chat. Users earn rewards based on uploaded content that can then be used as gifts for private chat, making users vulnerable to exploitation.
LiveMe: This live-streaming video app uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn coins within the app and use them as a way to pay minors for photos.
Holla: The app’s makers admit it’s an “addicting” video chat app. It allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content, and more.
Whisper: This is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
Ask.fm: This app has become known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow people to anonymously ask them questions.
Grindr: This dating app is geared toward gay, bi and transgender people. It gives users options to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone’s GPS.
Hot or Not: This app encourages users to rate other users’ profiles, with the focus on physical appearance. It also allows users to check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The sheriff says the goal of this app is to “hook up.”
*Parents should be aware that on October 19th, the KIK messaging app will shut down permanently.
PSL Police encourage parents to learn more about these apps and talk with their children about the potential dangers involved.
For more information contact Port St Lucie Police Department Crime Prevention Unit- 772.871.5027
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