Ever wonder which apps are okay for your teenager and which apps are not okay? Did you know that there are hidden apps that your kids could sneak past you?
What apps are okay for my tweens and teens is something I discuss on a regular basis with other parents I know. That’s why I found this info from TeenSafe so interesting. I was not familiar with all of these apps and chances are you are not either
Top 5 Dangerous Apps and why every parent should be on the lookout. Here’s the breakdown:
- Snapchat: One of the most popular apps for sexting among teens. Sexts can be saved even though they are supposed to disappear.
- Kik Messenger: Tweens and teens also Kik to send sexts. Predators can contact your child via Kik and send unsolicited sexts.
- Tinder: No age verification means your child could be “matched with adults on this popular dating app. Tinder has had security breaches that exposed user data and location.
- Blendr: There are no age requirements for this dating app, allowing adults to contact children. GPS features can reveal the location of your child to diligent predators.
- Down: Lets a user sort Facebook friends they are “down” to hook up with. It perpetuates “hookup” culture among young teens.
Internet Safety for Teenagers and Tweens
Talk to your kids about cyber-bullying.
- Explain to them what it means.
- Explain to them that they need to talk to you if they are upset over a comment or a picture that has been posted.
- If you feel it was inappropriate, call the other kid’s parent or speak with the school.
- This is a serious issue facing today’s kids and you must get involved if the situation arises.
- Their friend could be making a joke, but it could come across wrong and hurt your child’s feelings.
- Your child could be trying to make a joke on their friend’s photo or update it could come across wrong.
Turn off location settings inside apps.
All smartphones run apps that can share locations and so much more. Apps that share your location with friends and family can be handy, but make sure only the right people can see where you are.
Share with care.
Whether posting vacation photos on Instagram, sending summer camp pictures on Snapchat, it’s important to think about what they are sharing, and with whom.
- Never share passwords – even with your friends.
- Do not share everything – you never know who might see your photo or how it could affect you in the future. Even people you consider friends can use the information you share online against you.
Teach Them Good Password Habits
With the number of activities kids do online these days and the increasing number of security breaches impacting personal information, it’s never too early to instill in them a healthy approach to password security. The best passwords are very long, and a great way to remember long passwords is to come up with strings of words including symbols and numbers to create a “passphrase”. Every app and website you use should have a different password so that a security issue on one site won’t jeopardize the security of your other accounts.
Instagram is a wildly popular photo-sharing app.
- If your child is on Instagram then you need to be on it as well.
- Have your child set their account to private. Setting the account to private allows only those they are friends with to see their photos.
- Only friend people you know personally.
- Only accept friend requests from people you actually know.
- Think about what you are posting before you actually post. Will this embarrass you or someone you know?
- You may only spend 20 minutes a day on Instagram.
- Check-in at least once a day to see what your child has posted and read through the comments left by others on their photos.
- If someone leaves an inappropriate comment show your child how to block that person and delete the comment.
The main thing to know about SnapChat is that unlike the popular belief that the snaps disappear, others can absolutely save them or screenshot them. The other thing that is important for parents to know about SnapChat is your child can create a secret file within the app where they can save whatever they want. This folder is password protected with in the app.