My husband and I have gotten on the discussion several times about how technology has changed so rapidly over the past 10 years! We literally hold the world in the palms of our hands! It’s convenient, yes, but at the same time it can be very scary for someone who has a teenager holding that ‘world’ in the palm of their hands!
As soon as our children started hitting Middle School, my husband and I thought that they would need a cell phone. It became pretty inconvenient when the first child got to middle school, was staying late after school. So, a 12 year old having a cell phone is a little bit scary. Especially, when it is a cell phone with internet access.
I am constantly hearing these horror stories from parents who are parents to tweens/teens and their children have cell phones and are doing awful things on them! I decided to do a little research myself to find the most popular apps that most parents aren’t aware of that may or may not be on your child’s phone right now!
Here is a list of common, popular, yet dangerous apps that parents should be aware of:
Information on Snapchat- Snapchat users can send pictures or videos to people on their friend’s list. The user can allot how much time someone views their video/picture, once that time is up, the video/picture is erased. This app has a yellow background with a white ghost figure in the middle.
What parents need to know- This is the #1 used app for people use for “sexting.” People using Snapchat thinks that it is safe before videos/pictures ‘disappear’ within a short amount of time–BUT, a lot of people are realizing that the person viewing the video/pictures can screen shot the image to their phone and save it. This is how pictures are being spread. Many lawsuits have been opened because the sender thought that the image would disappear, but instead, the viewers are saving the images by screen shots.
There are other apps similar to Snap Chat, that allow users to find people to Snap Chat with. This can also be dangerous. Another dangerous app that is connected to Snapchat is “Snap Porn.” This goes back to the sexting through Snapchat and getting your stuff shared through “Snap Porn.”
2. Kik Messager-
Information on Kik- Kik Messagers has millions of downloads through the app stores with millions of users that log into the app multiple times a day. In this app, users an share videos, pictures, memes, ect.
What parents need to know- Kik Messager is also a popular app used for sexting. A lot of the youth are using the term “Kik Buddy” orj “Kik Friend” instead of saying “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Being a Kik Buddy or Kik Friend can be a pretty big thing when you are a teenager! This app is labeled “Kik,” so you can easily point it out on your child’s phone!
Information on Vine- This app is for short videos. You can view short videos or record short videos.
What parents need to know- A lot of teenagers may have this app, and it may be completely innocent. There are a lot of goofy videos posted. There is a cute cat section that can catch people’s attention but there is also a lot of pornographic video clips that can be found on the app as well. If you type in certain phrases or words, pornographic things can come up easily. There are ”code” words on looking up these clips and there is a website and apps dedicated to teaching people how to find the content they are looking for! Disgusting…I know. The Vine app has a green background with a white “V” in the center of it.
There are also apps associated with Vine, like “Best Vines” or “Funniest Vines” and these apps as well are known for having inappropriate images on them as well!
Information on BLENDR- Make sure you are spelling it correctly. It is missing the ”E.” Blendr is an app that many people use to meet up with new people. Blendr has millions of downloads with a lot of daily users.
What parents need to know- Blendr does try to set an age limit, but a lot of teenagers are using Blendr because like many websites/apps, you can easily make up a fake age. After you download the app, it uses your GPS location to look up people around you who are also looking to meet people. Like I said, many people of different ages are using this app. This app has been used by sexual predators because you can easily meet. In this app, you can also send pictures or videos, so this app has also been used for sexting as well. You can have many people message you asking to meet, chat or flirt! This one would be rated in my opinion, one of the most dangerous apps mainly because of it being used by predators. This app has a blue background with a white flower in the middle.
Information on Tinder- Tinder is very similar to Blendr. You can flirt, chat and meet on there as well. I think this app is more of a tell the app your interests and it matches you up with people who have like interests.
What parents need to know- Tinder can be used to meet strangers. A lot of known predators are using apps like Tinder as well because it is free and you don’t have to have a lot of information to join it. And of course, sexting is involved with this app as well! Tinder has a white background with a red flame in the middle of it. Tender has also been used for cyber bullying because you “rate” the people on there.
Information on Whisper- Whisper is an app that people can remain confidential or tell people your user name and basically you can tell secrets socially.
What parents need to know- Whisper can be dangerous because it allows kids to say whatever they want to the world. You can search “whispers” within 5, 10, 15, or 10000 miles away from you. When kids are putting things like, “I want to meet and have a good time…” and put their picture or any picture behind the text that they write and that’s how doors can be opened because people are looking for that kind of activity in their area. Whisper is a purple app with a white W.
7. Yik Yak-
Information on Yik Yak- In this app, you can only do texts. It only allows so many letters and only a certain amount of people can see what was wrote determined by GPS tracking. It is very similar to Whisper, only without using pictures.
What parents need to know- In this app a lot of language, cyber bullying, and sexual content is in this app. You may remain anonymous, but a lot of users are putting more personal information as they get close to other “Yakers.”
Information on this app- This is a video chatting app that doesn’t require users to identify themselves. Users can connect to their contacts through Facebook or through contacts listed in their phones. If you aren’t connected, the account will say “You” or “Stranger”
What parents need to know- A lot of sexual content is found on this app through video chatting. It has also been used for sexual predators to pin point the location and target who they want to find easier. This app does use GPS location services.
9. Ask. FM
Information on this app- Ask.FM is a question and answers site that you can ask different people different questions. You can remain anonymous on this site.
What parents need to know- This app has been linked to several teenagers and them committing suicide. It can be a playground for cyber bullying because some of the answers to the questions like, “Am I pretty,”can be very harsh. A lot of personal information has been known to be leaked out on this app as well.
Information on this app- Most popular social media sites.
What parents need to know- know, I I probably don’t need to tell much about these two social media sites, but I just encourage parents to be aware of what their children are doing on the social media sites, who they are talking to, ect. I know that these sites might not seem dangerous, but if your child is the one being bullied or doing the bullying, I think parents should be aware. Most parents do not know that their children are being bullies or that their children are being bullied. Monitor your children’s time spent on these two websites!
11. Hot or Not-
Information on this app- It is basically like it sounds. People can add pictures to the app and people rate if they are hot or not.
What parents need to know- This app, I guess, isn’t dangerous, but it can be devastating when the people are not considered ”hot.” Girls flock that app, so the post that I made about girls and how they see themselves deals with apps like this! So this isn’t a great app for self esteem!
Information on this app- There are several Poof Texting apps on the Google market. This app allows you to share pictures, videos, or text and within a couple seconds, the texts disappear. But, like Snapchat, there are always screen shots!
What parents need to know-This app is being used in secret! A lot of sexting and R-Rated pictures!
Of course, I didn’t get all of the apps because, today, as I was researching these apps, I was getting suggestions of “like apps” that were like the apps that I listed. I know that some apps like Facebook and Twitter, your children don’t need apps to access. They are actually websites so they can be activated from computers
I strongly suggest we work together to protect our children because there are new apps and websites created daily that we should be concerned about when it comes to our children and their protection. If there are any apps or websites that I have missed, please feel free to share in the websites. Also, please talk with your children about their time spent on their phones, respecting themselves not to start sexting or sending R-Rated pictures, and to know who they are talking to!
Lord, I know that we probably won’t catch all of the things that our children do, but if we happen to miss something, Lord, whatever is done in the dark, may you bring it to light! I pray a hedge of protection over our children as they are on their phones. Give us the right words to speak that our children will hear us! Teach us Lord on how to teach our children to respect themselves!
Until next time…be encouraged!!!