Kids Online Safety – 3 Threats Parents Must Know & 6 Most Dangerous Apps

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The internet is a valuable resource that makes useful information accessible to all. It plays a
significant role by enabling friends and loved ones to stay in touch. It’s also an excellent source of entertainment, and this makes web safety a crucial subject for discussion among parents. To protect your child online, you should beware of the many online risks for kids.

Below are 3 common online threats:

1. Solicitation

What do online predators do?

They approach kids for naked photos or sexually explicit talks.

All these happen through chats, forums, online games, and email.

In most cases, kids are harassed and threatened when they fail to comply.

Sadly, others give in, and the effects can be devastating.

If your child uses their iPhone X to send nude photos, a quick way of stopping this is by searching “sell my iPhone X.” You’ll get several sites that will assist you in trading that phone for some cash.

Just kidding!

Jokes aside, it is important for parents to communicate with their children and educate them on the dangers of meeting strangers online.

2. P*rnography

P*rnographic materials are not only accessible through pop-ups, file sharing, unwanted emails, and search engines.

Kids can easily land inappropriate sites by the mere act of misspelling search words. If you visit these sites, you expose your children to online risks.

You make it easier for your child to access the same places thanks to cookies and temporary files.

Moreover, teens can seek these sites out of curiosity and view explicit images and videos.

3. Extremist pages

There are various associations online, and these include hate-based and radical groups. Such sites usually promote hatred, violence, and harassment. Some also comprise of violent images, vulgar language, and derogatory references.

Although the Internet contains lots of educational materials, restrict your child from visiting sites containing unsuitable materials. Moreover, discuss the above online risks and educate your child on how to enhance their online safety. If possible, search internet safety articles and let your child go through them.

Moving on… here’s what we have all been waiting for. What are the 6 dangerous apps that compromise the safety of your kids?

1. After School (Removed)

This chat app allows students to connect from the same school.

Users can download and join the conversation anonymously. They can also post photos and videos anonymously, which obviously make the app a potential platform for cyberbullying to occur.

Fortunately, this app is nowhere to be found as of today.

Warning Level: Not Applicable

2. Ask.fm

This app provides a question and answer format. Users can interact via Q&A with friends and anonymous users.

With the lack of monitoring and the element of anonymity, Ask.fm has been the reason for quite a few suicides until now.

Steer clear.

Warning Level: DELETE

3. Bigo Live

Bigo Live lets users stream live videos of themselves. Other users can watch and comment on the live video as it streams.

Additionally, users receive and send “beans”, virtual gifts that cost real money.

Basically that is the business model of Bigo Live.

Unless you want to have your credit card bills filled with expensive app charges that also leave your children at risk of getting cyberbullied, this is another dangerous app for your kids.

Stay out at all costs. Pun intended.

Warning Level: DELETE

4. Holla

Holla allows users to video chat with any random stranger and users never know what they are going to see on the screen when they go to the next chat.

This makes the app a highly risky app to have on your child’s phone, as explicit content or other hidden dangers can be revealed to your child without warning.

It is also linked to several cases of violence.

Warning Level: DELETE

5. Whisper

Whisper is a confession app, with no age verification and no verification of any kind.

Users can download and start posting straight away – this level of anonymity makes the app very risky.

Warning Level: DELETE

6. Snapchat

Snapchat is a popular photo-sharing and messaging app among everyone.

Even our readers could be avid users of this app right now!

The magic of the app is that snaps disappear in 10 seconds or less. This, however, gives a false sense of security and encourages users to end something that shouldn’t have been sent in the first place.

Warning Level: USE WITH CAUTION

Guidelines For A Safer Phone Experience

There are certain things you should be aware of as a parent. Before you regrettably infringe the privacy of your kids and do an app audit, we recommend educating your children first on why you are doing so.

Your child’s privacy is just as important as yours! So proceed with care.

What should you look out for during an app audit? Here are a few things we came up with to get you started on finding dangerous apps:

  • Age Verification
  • Content Filtration
  • No Location Access
  • No Access to Media Files
  • No Access to Contacts
  • In-App Purchases
  • Access to Passwords

Don’t Want to Do An App Audit?

To keep kids safe in a less physically invasive way, parents can still monitor their children’s phone activity from afar.

Setting up parental controls, install activity monitoring apps, configuring the right privacy settings can prevent any dangerous apps from being installed in the first place.

Alternatively, parents can also make it a practice for their kids to ask them for approval before installing every app on the phone.

Here’s an infographic to sum things up (courtesy of SwiftTechBuy):

Dangerous apps for kids you must delete Infographics

Do not wait for the ‘what-ifs’ to become a reality!

At the end of the day, parents should have basic knowledge of apps on their children’s phones and help them with managing their digital life whenever necessary.

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This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

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