Are your children safe online? While most of us are up to date on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, new networking apps are launching every day – and police have warned parents to be on their guard, due to online predators and severe cyber bullying. From secret photo vaults to ‘teenage Tinder’, here are the ten apps you need to watch out for…
This app looks like a calculator but functions as a secret photo vault. It’s designed to help young people hide photos and videos behind an innocent-looking calculator app. To access secret photos, you need to type a ‘.’ (full stop) then a four-digit passcode, and then another full stop.
A free website that promotes chatting to strangers via messages or video. Omegle pairs two users at random, and chats are anonymous unless you tell someone who you are. The site itself admits that predators have been known to use it.
This app is designed to allow teens to flirt with each other in a Tinder-like atmosphere. You can ‘swipe’ right on people you want to be friends with, and create live video rooms with up to four friends and an unlimited number of watchers.
A form of social media allowing people to anonymously share secret confessions and advice, and meet new people. Text, photo and video messages can be shared anonymously, however secrets shared on the site are distributed to third-party sites and apps.
Ask a question (anonymously or not) and get anonymous answers. This app has been linked to the most severe forms of cyberbullying, and multiple cases of teenage suicide. Online petitions calling for safety regulations or a complete site shut-down have received thousands of signatures.
Hot or Not
Upload a photo and strangers will rate how attractive you are. The goal is to lead to a real life hook-up, as the app reveals a list of the ‘hottest’ people near your current location and encourages users to message each other and meet up in person.
Post anonymous rumours about people through messages, texts and photos. This controversial app has made headlines in the US for bringing severe cases of anonymous cyberbullying and threats of violence to American high schools.
Particularly popular with teenage girls, this app allows teenagers to compare everything from looks to outfits and rate them on a scale. Users are able to write comments underneath these photos – which are often inappropriate – or send each other direct messages.
A messaging app offering more anonymity than regular texting. Instead of a phone number, Kik users can create usernames that are more difficult to trace back. It has also become such a popular sexting platform that the word is now virtually synonymous with sexting.
While we're not saying to block your teens from Insta, it's important to be viligant against fake Instagram accounts. Often referred to as ‘finstas’ or ‘spam accounts’, have become the norm for many teens, allowing them to hide content from parents. Posts are only shared with a close circle of friends, so inappropriate and intimate content often gets shared.
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