In this age of internet frenzy, kids have found ingenious ways to chat with peers, friends — even total strangers — without their parents’ knowledge. There may be nothing wrong with the chat apps themselves, but as a parent, being aware of various social media platforms your child is using can help prevent them from exposure to dangerous elements.
Here are six apps that teenagers and younger children are using to chat with others.
Kik is a free messaging app that allows users to exchange photos, videos, and gifs. It also features extras such as special emojis, e-cards and mini-games.
Why you should be concerned:
Kik is heavy with advertising and it’s never clear whether they’ve been messaged by an ad-bot or a real person.
Kik’s age rating is 17+, yet anyone can download it since there’s no age verification. App Store and Google Play reviews reveal another concern for parents: many users utilize Kik to sext with strangers.
Another concern is privacy. As users connect with others on Kik using just a username, there’s no way to validate users.
Kik doesn’t offer parental controls, making it easier for minors to chat with strangers without parents’ knowledge. There are, however, parenting apps like KidBridge or Qustodio let you review social network activity.