This past month, (August 2019) Police Departments around the country have released a very helpful list of apps for parents to be aware of. The digital age can be confusing for parents. It’s always changing and kids always seem to be a step ahead of their parents when it comes to technology. There are countless apps on the market and while apps don’t pose an actual threat to children, they give them the opportunity to make bad decisions or put themselves in risky situations.
Project B3 wanted to share the list of “Fifteen Apps Parents Should Know About” that’s being shared by various Police Departments.
Here’s the full List:
1) MEETME: A dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. App users are encouraged to meet in person.
2) WHATSAPP: Popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, and make calls and video chats.
3) BUMBLE: Similar to “Tinder.” The dating app requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to create fake Bumble accounts that falsify their age
4) LIVE.ME: A live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn “cins” as a way to “pay” minors for photos.
5) ASK.FM: Known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions
6) GRINDR: A dating app geared towards the LGBT community. The app gives users options to chat, share photos, and meet up based on a phone’s GPS.
7) TIKTOK: A new mobile device app popular with kids. It’s used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyber bullying and explicit content
8) SNAPCHAT: One of the most popular apps in recent years. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear, new features, including “stories”, allows users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
9) HOLLA: A self-proclaimed “addicting” video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.
10) CALCULATOR%: Only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
11) SKOUT: A location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.
12) BADBOO: A dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos and connect based on location. While the app is intended for adults only, teens are known to create profiles.
13) KIK: Allows anyone to contact and direct message to your child. Kids can bypass traditional messaging features. KIK gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
14) WHISPER: An anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
15) HOT OR NOT: Encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of the app is to hook up.
Project B3 thinks this is a great list and knows parents need to stay on top of their game when it comes to knowing what apps their kids are using, what games their playing and who they are talking to online. We also know that keeping an open line of communication with your children about what they’re doing online helps tremendously. Limiting screen time and designating specific areas for phone use also cuts down on opportunities for kid’s to hide what their doing online or become overly involved with the apps they are using. Anonymous apps and any app that allows strangers to direct message your child should be a no-brainer. So, check this list, check your child’s phone and check it often!