Not everything online is evil , nor does danger lurk behind every new app that comes to market. But keeping up with your teens’ and preteens’ online activities is much like trying to fingernail jelly to the barn door — frustrating, futile and something bound to make “youre feeling” inept.
Keep in mind that no app poses a hazard in and of itself, but many do provide children with an opportunity to build, ahem, bad choices.
1. Audio Manager .
Sometimes when it walkings like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s truly not a duck. Such is the case with Audio Manager, an app that has nothing to do with managing your teen’s music files or controlling the volume on his smartphone and all is do with him concealing things like nude photos from you. It’s one of the top apps for concealing other apps.
Yes, there are such things. Children can conceal any app they don’t want you to see, Teen Safe says. When you press and hold the Audio Manager app, a lock screen is revealed — behind which users to be able to conceal messages, photos, videos, and other apps.
2. Calculator %.
Same deal, but this time with a calculator icon posing as something it isn’t. Sedgrid Lewis, online security expert , notes that these apps looks just like a normal calculator app but when teens push a button within the app they can hide all inappropriate paintings. “It’s a key style teens are hiding their nude paintings from their parents, ” said Lewis.
Lewis tells the best way to solve this situation is for parents to add their teen to their iCloud account. That style, whenever a new app is downloaded by the teen, it will automatically download to the parent’s telephone as well.
Think it’s not serious? Last autumn, there was a headline-making suit in a Colorado high school where teens employed apps to hide a huge sexting ringfrom parents and school officers. And an Alabama district attorney, Pamela Casey, posted the video below to alert mothers about the Calculator% app.
Vaulty will not only store photographs and videos away from parental spying eyes, but it also will snap a photo of anyone who tries to access the “vault” with the incorrect password. Mothers who find it on their teens’ telephones can conclude just one thing: Your kids is hiding things from you.
4. Snapchat .
OK, so you’ve undoubtedly is aware of Snapchat, an app that allows you to send a photo or video from your phone and determine how long the person or persons on the other aim can see the image until it self-destructs. But what you probably didn’t know is that a lot of images from Snapchat are regularly posted to revenge porn sites, called “snap porn.”
Snapchat may not be the# 1 app used for sexting but that’s not to say it isn’t the principal appealof the app for many: Users suppose their snaps will disappear and they are wrong. It’s actually pretty easy to recover a Snap, take a screenshot of it and share it with others — and by others, we entail porn sites. No mother wants to find a photo of their teen daughter or son on sites like snapperparty or sexting forum.
Not for nothing, Snapchat last year published a “Snapchat Safety Center” reminding children that nude pictures were not allowed. “Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans and if you’re under 18 or are Snapping with someone who might be: Maintain your clothes on! ” the company wrote.
The reality is, Snapchat is likely on your kid’s telephone. The best control you have( besides taking the phone away) is to merely have a frank heart-to-heart about how there is no such thing as texts or photos that disappear and this is some down-and-dirty stuff that can come back to haunt them.
Like Snapchat, Burn Note is a messaging app that erases messages after a set period of time. Unlike Snapchat, this one is for text messages merely , not photos or videos. Burn Note’s display system proves only one word at a time, adding a sense of secrecy to the messages. Again, by promising a complete delete, children could feel more comfy disclosing more than what they would do otherwise. And again, capturing a screenshot so that the message can be shared and lives forever, may be the app’s Achilles’ heel.
Even if your child doesn’t have the app and has no interest in reading super secret messages, she could unwittingly get involved: The app sends a Burn Note alert that she has a message waiting. Curiosity can kill the cat and an app like this could promote cyberbullying when kids feel they can get away with things because there will be no record of it.
This is a real up-and-coming app, says online security expert Lewis. It’s an all-in-one mobile hub for chatting, sharing photographs and videos; free texting and video calls too. But the devil is in the details. Things can get dicey with the hidden chat feature; users can decide how long their messages can last( two seconds or a week ). But the biggest shock may come to your charge card: Your kid can rack up some hefty in-app charges on Line as well. While the app says that minors need their parents’ permission to use it, there is no monitoring to ensure this takes place.
Bottom line: If your kid doesn’t have a charge card number, you are controlling access to his in-app purchases.
7. Omegle .
Omegle provides users with a chance to converse online with random strangers. Is there anything that ten-strikes dread into a parent’s heart faster than that sentence?
We turn to our friends at Common Sense Media for this review: “Parents need to know that Omegle is an anonymous chats client with which users discuss anything they’d like. This can easily result in conversations that are filled with explicit sex content, lewd language, and references to narcotics, alcohol, and violence. Many users ask for personal data upfront, including locating, age, and gender[ ASL ], something kids might furnish( not realizing they don’t have to ). Adults wishing to chat anonymously may find use in this app, but children should be kept far away.”
‘Nuff said. And it took us awhile to discover a photo with speech that was publishable.
Tinder is a popular app used for hooking-up and dating that enables users to “rate” profiles and locate hookups via GPS tracking. It is too easy for adults and minors to find one another. And the rating system can be used for cyber-bullying; a group of children can target another kid and intentionally induce his/ her rating go down.
9. Blendr . Blendr’s 300 million users meet new people through GPS location services. You can message, exchange photographs and videos, and rate the “hotness” of other users( fostering your child to engage in superficial values at best ). But since there are no authentication requirements, sex predators can contact minors and minors can hook up with adults — and of course there is the sexting, notes ForEveryMom.com.
10. KiK Messenger .
KiK is an instant messaging app that lets users exchange videos, photographs and sketches. Users can also create gifs. All well and good so far. Unfortunately, the term “sext buddy” has been replaced with “KiK buddy.” Sex researcher Megan Maas, wrote on ForEveryMom.com that kids are using Reddit and other forums to place classified ads for sexuality by giving out their KiK usernames. 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.
Yik Yak is the “Twitter gratifies Reddit” app. It allows users to post text-only “Yaks” of up to 200 characters that can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. The issue is that these other users are regularly exposed to a barage of sexually explicit content, profanity and even personal attacks– anonymously, of course. It’s also the app du jour for sending a bomb menace to your school. Yes, that has happened.
Elizabeth Long, an Atlanta teenager who was encouraged on Yik Yak to try harder to kill herself after her attempted suicide failed, led a Change.org drive to shut the app down .~ ATAGEND She wrote, “With the shield of anonymity, users[ of Yik Yak] have zero accountability for their posts, and can openly spread rumors, call classmates hurtful names, send threats, or even tell someone to kill themselves — and all of these things are happening.” 12. Ask.fm .
This is one of the most popular social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by kids. It is a Q& A site where users to be able to ask other users topics anonymously. The problem is that kids sometimes target one person and the questions get nasty. It is cyberbullying with no chance of ever getting caught. Ask.fm had been associated with nine documented cases of suicide in the U.S. and the U.K. through 2012. In 2014, its new proprietorspledged to crack down on bullying or said they would shut down the site.
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