15 apps parents need to know about as kids head back to school
With kids heading back to school, police around the country are reminding parents to keep an eye on their children’s phones and tablets.
Apps have tremendous benefits, but they can also compromise personal information or get kids into trouble.
Several departments, including most recently Oklahoma’s Madill Police Department, have shared a graphic with 15 apps parents should know about.
They range from well-known social media apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp to location-based dating apps.
Here’s the list:
- MeetMe: The dating social media app allows people to connect based on location. Users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
- WhatsApp: The messaging app allows users to send texts, video calls, and voicemails to other people. It also includes photo sharing and video chat capabilities.
- Bumble: Similar to Tinder, but requires women to make the first contact. Police said kids and teens have been known to make fake accounts and lie about their age.
- Live.Me: A geolocation-based live-streaming app that allows users to find a broadcaster’s location. Police said users can earn “coins” to “pay” minors for photos.
- Ask.FM: The app lets users ask anonymous questions. Police said it can be used for cyberbullying.
- Grindr: A dating app geared toward the LGBTQ community. Users can chat, share photos and meet based on their phones’ location.
- TikTok: The app lets users create and share short videos. Police said it’s popular with kids and has limited privacy controls. Users are vulnerable to cyberbullying and explicit content.
- Snapchat: Snapchat remains one of the world’s most popular social media apps. Users are supposed to be able to send photos/videos that will later disappear, but features like “stories” allow people to share content for up to a day. Snapchat also allows other users to see your location.
- Holla: A video chat app that allows users to meet people from all over the world. According to some reviews, users could encounter explicit content, racial slurs, profanity and more.
- Calculator+: The innocuous-looking app appears to be a standard calculator but allows users to hide photos, videos and files they don’t want other people to see.
- Skout: The location-based dating app doesn’t allow users 17 and under to share private photos, but kids could easily create an account by lying about their age.
- Badoo: The dating and social media app is meant to be for adults, but teens have been known to create accounts. Users can chat and share photos and videos based on location.
- Kik: The app allows users to send direct messages to other users. Kids can use it to bypass traditional text messaging.
- Whisper: The anonymous social network lets users share information with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet each other.
- Hot or Not: The “hookup” app lets users rate profiles, check out people in their area and chat with strangers.