Last week, I was at the playground with my daughter and several of her friends enjoying the last day of school. As I watched the kids play, I was drawn to a conversation several of the moms were having about apps they found on their older children’s phones. After a while, I began to notice all of the stories had something in common, the kid left their phone and they started getting several notifications. The mom, in this cases, picked it up and started reading the messages. If the mom, did not notice the notification the inappropriate comments could have turned into something much worse. That got me thinking how many parents, have no clue what apps to look for on their kids phone? I can honestly say, “I only knew of a few of them” and my mind was blown when I started to research this article.
Here are a few my team and I found:
Askfm allows user to ask questions anonymously. It could be a 50 year old man asking your 13 year old daughter about ANYTHING and she would have not idea.
Hot or Not – A user must first set up an account of his own, with photos — and must verify his identity with a working email address or a Facebook account and a mobile phone number. The site says it will not accept a profile unless the user is 13 or older and that users 13 to 17 can’t chat or share photos with users older than 17 — but there’s no age-verification process. Most concerning is the ability that girls (and boys) have to self-objectify themselves by posting their picture for boys and men to rate as “hot” or “not
Poof – Hides other apps on your phone. You select which apps you would like to hide and their icons will no longer show up on your smartphone screen.Why It’s Dangerous – If children have apps that they want to keep hidden from their parents, all they have to do is download this app and “poof,” their screen is clear of any questionable apps. So, if you see the poof app on their phone, you may want to ask them what they are hiding.
Vaulty will not only store photos and videos away from parental spying eyes, but it also will snap a photo of anyone who tries to access the “vault” with the wrong password. Parents who find it on their teens’ phone can conclude just one thing: Your kid is hiding things from you.
Omegle – When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service – chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger;” the app’s slogan is “Talk to Strangers!” You don’t have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook “likes” and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. This app is the perfect channel for sexual predators. Experts say these predators blackmail young children, by starting inappropriate conversations with them, then threatening to send the messages, photos, or videos to their parents if they tell anybody, therefore trapping the child in a disgusting, dangerous situation.
Most of the conversion on social media are innocent but it just takes one “misstep” and you could end up dealing with a Lifetime Movie situation.
We will continue to update this article as we hear of trending apps.