Apps to Keep an Eye Out For

 

You never want to be known as a helicopter parent, but it is also a parents job to keep their children safe. Keeping up with teens and pre-teens can be exhausting in itself and adding technology into the mix only exacerbates it. To keep in the know we’ve researched the top Apps and Websites to educate yourself on and to help keep your kids safe.

 

Ask.Fm

If you were familiar with the website Formspring- This app is essentially a 2.0 version. The app allows people to ask questions and invites comments anonymously from users. It also allows you to post anonymous questions. Kids sometimes target one person and the questions get vulgar. It is cyberbullying with no chance of ever getting caught. A user’s account can quickly fill up with a stream of anonymous, hurtful messages that may or may not be coming from people you know. In an extreme case back in 2013, it was linked to the tragic death of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick. Rebecca became one of the youngest members of a growing list of children and teenagers apparently driven to suicide, at least in part, after being maligned, threatened and taunted online, mostly through a new collection of texting and photo-sharing cellphone applications.

 

Kik Messenger

This app has landed itself on multiple lists for parents to watch out for. Kik Messenger, commonly called Kik, is a freeware instant messaging mobile app from the Canadian company Kik Interactive. KiK does not offer any parental controls and there is no way of authenticating users, thus making it easy for sexual predators to use the app to interact with minors.

 

Hiding Apps Aka-Calculator%

Sedgrid Lewis, online safety expert, notes that these apps look like a normal calculator app but when you enter a password using the buttons within the app they can hide all inappropriate pictures. “It’s a key way teens are hiding their nude pictures from their parents,” said Lewis. This app or more commonly used by boys to keep lued photos private and are usually sent in mass messages.

In 2015, there was a headline-making case in a Colorado high school where teens used apps to hide a huge sexting ring from parents and school.

 

Omegle

Omegle’s tagline is “Talk to Strangers!”. This website came out back in 2008 and is very similar to Chatroulette

Omegle is a free online video chatting website that allows users to socialize with others without the need to register. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the names “You” and “Stranger” or “Stranger 1” and “Stranger 2” in the case of Spy mode”. It is famous for sexual predators trying to lure young children into inappropriate behaviors. Nothing good can come from this site.

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