The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office is reminding parents to monitor their child’s social media activity. With reports of arrests made after online predator and human trafficking stings, law enforcement officers around the country are reminding parents about potentially dangerous apps their kids could have access to. Parents should educate themselves on what social media platforms are out there, with the ever-evolving internet “The biggest thing parents can do is talk to their children. Talk to their kids about these apps and the dangers of what happens if you share too much information,” says Sheriff Bill Leeper.
Leeper said parents should also be able to easily access their child’s phone and accounts. “Periodically check their child’s phone. Look at their phone. See what kind of apps are on their phone.”
Technological advancements have made it harder to keep track of apps that put kids at risk. The easiest things to do as a parent is to stay educated, talk to your kids and monitor the apps they use.
Leeper said parents and teens should know two things:
1. Once a picture or video leaves your phone and is sent to someone else, it is out of your control.
2. Someone can use that picture or video against you.
The sheriff’s office named 15 apps parents should look for:
Meetme: It’s a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. The app’s users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
Grindr: This dating app is geared toward gay, bi and transgender people. It gives users options to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone’s GPS.
Skout: It’s a location-based dating app. While users under 17 years old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.
Whatsapp: This is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, as well as make calls and video chats.
Tiktok: It’s a new app popular with kids that’s used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyberbullying and explicit content.
Badoo: This is a dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos based on location. The app is intended for adults only, but teens are known to create profiles.
Bumble: It’s similar to the popular dating app, Tinder, however, it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
Snapchat: It’s one of the most popular apps. While the app promises users can send a photo or video and it will disappear, recent features allow users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
Kik: This app allows anyone to contact and direct message your child, sometimes anonymously. Kids sometimes use Kik to bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
LiveMe: This live-streaming video app uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn coins within the app and use them as a way to pay minors for photos.
Holla: The video chat app. that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds.
Whisper: This is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
Ask.fm: This app has become known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow people to anonymously ask them questions.
Calculator%: This is one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history.
Hot or Not: This app encourages users to rate other users’ profiles, with the focus on physical appearance. It also allows users to check out people in their area and chat with strangers.
These apps all give easy access to children which make them a prime target for predators. Parents please know what your kids are doing and who they are doing it with.