We are parents – parents to five little kids age 10 and under. They don’t have smart phones or web enabled tablets of their own, but if they did, we would want someone to inform us of the dangers that plague our young ones today.
So some have shared information with us regarding some dangerous apps and we thought it would be good to pass along this information to other parents!
This is a list of 8 Apps that are scary and dangerous that are also popular and used a lot amongst teens and putting them in possible danger.
There are probably a lot more apps, but here’s the ones being reported on.
Kik is a private messaging app. The reason why this messaging app is a scary one is that a user can send a “private” message that parents and others can’t see. In addition, users of Kik have very little identity verification steps, which means it is a breeding ground for predators and underage users – and the meeting of the two is frequent from news sources.
Yik Yak is a scary app, so scary in fact that many schools block the app on their wifi. Why is it scary? Well, users can post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. “The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to – and contributing – severe sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks.” Not only that, although it is anonymous posting, kids will and do start sharing personal information the more comfortable they become with the other users. In addition, whenever GPS is involved, that alone is plain scary!
Ask.fm is basically an anonymous “gossip and bullying” app. Adults online can be vicious when they don’t have a real face and don’t have to face whomever they are “talking about.” Well, imagine kids and teens having the same ability, less maturity, no accountability and an even easier outlet – an anonymous outlet. It is a recipe for disaster and there have been several news reports with sad outcomes for others that were bullied or gossiped against.
This is a “self-destruct” app. Basically, users can send photos to others and these photos will disappear after 10 seconds from both the sender’s and the receiver’s phones. The timer starts once the receiver actually opens the picture. Yes, you are certainly thinking like us and thinking this is a total recipe for disaster. The recipe has been an easy outlet for “sexting” with their peers. But note, that although the picture “disappears,” it is also quite easy for the receiver to screenshot the photo and save permanently to share abroad!
Another dangerous and scary app – Whisper! It is an app where users are encourage to “post secrets anonymously.” However, this app also has a GPS attached and shows the area that a user is posting from. You can also search for other “whisperers” within a mile of you. Whoa! Since it is online, both predators and kids are “meeting” as well as relationships forming. This scary app has also contributed to sexual crimes against kids due to the above listed reasons.
This is one of the older apps on the list, but it is a wide open door for predators. The app requires no registration, which already means security is out the door. Users chat with “strangers” after finding chat partners via connecting through your Facebook account and Omegle connects you with strangers with similar interests based on likes on your Facebook page and more. The app includes video chat as well! In the end, this is a wide open door for predators and your kids talking to strangers.
Down (Formerly Known as “Bang with Friends”)
The app currently called “Down” which use to be known as “Bang with Friends” makes our list as it is far too dangerous for kids to get a hold of. You can probably see why the former name was replaced because you don’t need a second read to realize the danger. Although the name changed, the app hasn’t. Here’s the gist of this one: app users rate their Facebook friends in 2 ways – whether or not a friend is someone they’d like to “hang with” or someone they are “down” to hook up with (or formerly know as “bang with”). There are too many obvious dangers on this one that I don’t think we need to spell it out.
This was perhaps one of the scariest apps – Poof! With this app, users can make apps disappear on their phone with one simple, quick touch. What that means is that kids can hide each and every app they don’t want you to see on their phone. “All they have to do is open the App and select the ones they don’t want you to see.” This is quite disturbing and very scary because they can have the above list and more and you not even know! In fact, it was one of the most scary apps that this app is no longer available. However, if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the available app stores, it still might be on your child’s phone. One note that CheckUp Newsroom states is: “Keep in mind that Apps like this are created and then terminated pretty quickly by Android and Apple stores, but there are similar ones being created constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.”
Because of constant and changing apps, it’s a good idea to be checking your child’s phones/tablets and have them go through them with you on a normal basis. Often times, we worry about our kids playing outside due to dangers and predators (and I watch mine like a hawk when they are outside), but with technology, those dangers can enter our homes even easier.
What scary or dangerous apps did we miss that you know about?