AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Now that school is back in session, parents should look out for certain apps that their child might download.
15 apps parents need to know about:
- MeetMe: emphasis on dating, older users
- WhatsApp and SnapChat: designed for messaging (unlimited messages, video chats, live chats)
- Skout: flirting app used to meet/chat with people. Teens and adults are in different groups but ages not verified
- TikTok: sharing user-created videos—can contain adult content
- Badoo and Bumble: dating apps for adults but teens can find a way to join
- Grindr: created for LGBTQ community- allows users to share photos and meet up based on phones GPS location
- Kik: made for teens but anyone 13+ can join- direct message someone
- LiveMe: live-streaming app, don’t know who all is watching and the location is revealed
- Holla: connecting with strangers around the world with live video chat
- Whisper: social confessional, kids can remain anonymous. Can reveal the location for meet up
- ASKfm: encourages people to allow anonymous users to ask them questions opening the door for online bullying
- Hot or Not: rates users attractiveness. No age verification and can send each other message
- Calculator%: secret app allowing kids to hide their photos/ videos/ browser history
Common Sense Media is a good website for parents to break down what they should know about apps out there. It also provides advice on monitoring your child’s apps.
How to monitor your child’s smartphone apps:
- Have everyone on a family plan and/or the same account where parents automatically see what the other is purchasing.
- Use a parent control app (Bark, Net Nanny, Screentime).
- Look at your child’s phone on a regular basis.
Parenting Challenge: Set up rules for having and using a cell phone. Establish what non-negotiables are and what will happen if a rule is broken. If the rule is broken do not make exceptions, stick to what the agreement is.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect updated information about an app.