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Dangerous Apps for Teens

Grindr - This app lets you find a nearby guy for sex, which is not how you want a gay teen to first learn about relationships. The potential for exploitation is off the charts, so make sure this isn’t on your kid’s phone.

 

Lulu - This app lets girls review and rate guys anonymously, which could be seen as pro-feminist, but is actually just depressing. Also, the level of sexual humor and detail go beyond that of which you’d like your high school gal to participate.

 

Poof - With one touch, Poof makes apps disappear before parents' prying eyes, allowing young users of "jailbroken" iPhones to virtually hide apps they don't want you to see. All your little tech genius needs to do is open Poof and select which app she wants hidden, and you'll never know it's there.

 

Snapchat - This app allows users to send photos that will "self-destruct" within 10 seconds, encouraging kids to feel more comfortable "sexting" with peers. Once the recipient opens the pic, the timer starts. The picture destroys itself after the time runs out. This means that your kid can send a potentially damaging picture to a friend or someone else, and it won't stay on the recipient's phone. This app gives kids a false sense of security sending inappropriate pics; however, damage can still be done within a specified time frame.

 

Whisper- This app allows you to post secrets anonymously and also allows you to chat with other users in your geographic area. Many children are drawn to communicating with strangers, feeling that their secrets are safer with them than with their friends. This app is a perfect tool for ill-intentioned strangers looking to connect with young people because it allows you to exchange messages with people nearest to you (so anonymity can be easily lost).

 

Kik Messenger - This kicky app for all types of smartphones is a mini social network. Similar to iChat or Google Chat, users can talk to multiple people, upload pics and files and even send built-in greeting cards or sketched pictures. Seems harmless, right? Wrong. While KiK is a great way for responsible users to keep in touch, based on reviews in the Google Play store, it's turning out to have more to do with young teens flirting and sexting than just keeping in touch with friends. The reviews read like dating ads, with users looking to get to know more people. Like Facebook or Twitter, it's impossible to verify someone's identity through the World Wide Web. Bottom line: avoid this potentially dangerous app and talk to your kid about the risk of online predators.

 

YikYak - All Yik Yak users are anonymous. They don’t create a profile or account, but they can post comments that are accessible to the nearest 500 people (within a 1-5 mile radius). A psychiatrist called this the most dangerous app he’d ever seen because it “can turn a school into a virtual chat room where everyone can post his or her comments, anonymously. Untruthful, mean, character-assassinating short messages are immediately seen by all users in a specific geographic area. “This app is causing problems in schools across the United States, with students maliciously slandering teacher, staff, and other students. In fact, several schools have now banned smart phKik - A free app-based alternative texting service that allows texts/pictures to be sent without being logged in the phone history. (Similar apps: Viber, WhatsApp, Text Now) Makes it easier for your child to talk to strangers without your knowledge since it bypasses the wireless providers’ short message services (SMS). Children also think they can “sext” without parents finding out. In addition, strangers can send your child a “friend request.”

 

Vine – Allows users to watch and post six-second videos. While many of the videos are harmless, porn videos do pop up into the feed, exposing your children to sexually explicit material. You can also easily search for/access porn videos on this app. Predators utilize this app to search for teens and find their location. Then they try to connect with them via other messaging apps.

 

Tinder – Users post pictures and scroll through the images of other users. When they think someone is attractive they can “flag” the image. If that person has also “flagged” them in return, the app allows you to contact them. This app, and similar apps such as Down, Skout, Pure, and Blendr, is primarily used for hooking up.

 

Omegle – This App has been around since 2008, with video chat added in 2009.  When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service – chat participants are only identified as “You” and “Stranger”. You don't have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests.  When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook “likes” and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. There is a high risk of sexual predators and you don’t want your kids giving out their personal information, much less even talking to strangers.

 

Down – This application, which used to be called “Bang with Friends,” is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether or not a friend is someone they'd like to hang with or someone they are "down" to hook up with. The slogan for the App: “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night.” If that alone doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will!

 

Reddit - is a place for images and stories to be posted on the internet. One quick Google search for “Reddit teens” tells me why teens shouldn’t be anywhere near Reddit:

 

Mylol - 300,000 members all around the world. Join now and meet thousands of teenagers like you. Mylol has an integrated chat. You can chat with members or privately with someone. Where ever you are on mylol you can always access your conversations directly. This is dangerous because you don’t know who you are really meeting in these chat rooms. Anyone can make a teen profile.

 

ASK.FM - Ask.fm is one of the hottest social networking sites that is almost exclusively used by teenagers and pre-teens. 25% of teens have posted something on ask.fm over the past 30 days. It is a question and answers site that allows the user to ask anonymous questions. Ask. Fm has Twitter and Facebook integration that allows users to connect with all their friends on those popular sites. Due to intense bullying, Ask.fm has led to 4 documented cases of suicide in the United States, Ireland, and Great Britain. User engages in hyper bullying by constantly asking inappropriate and derogatory questions. The app is totally anonymous and is not being monitored by the developers.

 

MeetMe - Parents need to know that MeetMe - Meet New People is the app version of the popular online flirting, entertainment, and social networking website formerly called MyYearbook, and has some privacy and safety concerns. MeetMe is different from Facebook in that the primary uses of MeetMe are to meet new people and interact with them online rather than to keep up with your real-life friends. Teens, who must be 13 and in high school to sign up, use "lunch money" or credits to do things like putting their profile at the top of the homepage as a spotlight for others to see; to get "priority in match" to increase the number of "secret admirers" you get; and play online games. Much of the communication has "flirty" overtones.

 

FourSquare - Foursquare is a free location-based social networking app for smartphones where people can see what is going on around them and find their friends' locations. Users can “check in” to Foursquare when they go somewhere, and the GPS coordinates are recorded. It carries safety risks as well it allows anyone who is your friend to see your location. The key to using Foursquare safely is to limit the friend's list to only those with whom your teen would feel comfortable sharing his or her location.

 

Twitter - is an online social networking tool in which users post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives along with links to things they think are interesting, funny, or useful to their followers (“following” being essentially what “friending” is on other sites). People use twitter in many ways, some as a newsfeed by following prominent people or networks, some as a pseudo-chatroom by limiting their followers and whom they follow to close friends and family, and some as a microblog for updating people about the work they are doing and their personal lives. Twitter users choose whom they do and do not follow. They have total control of what news they receive on their homepage. When I refer to your “homepage”, I’m referring to the feed that you see when signed into twitter containing your and your followers’ tweets. This is different from your personal twitter page (twitter.com/yourusername) which contains all of your tweets including your replies to other users. You can have an unlimited amount of followers, but only follow people if you know them personally. (FYI these are fake twitter names. So you are careful when choosing to let someone follow you.

 

Facebook - is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. The site, which is available in 37 different languages. Within each member's personal profile, there are several key networking components. The most popular is arguably the Wall, which is essentially a virtual bulletin board. Messages left on a member's Wall can be text, video or photos. Another popular component is the virtual Photo Album. Photos can be uploaded from the desktop or directly from a smartphone camera. An interactive album feature allows the member's contacts (who are called generically called "friends"). You can friend anyone even people you don’t know once friends you can comment on each other's photos and identify (tag) people in the photos. Even directly message them. When you message someone it doesn’t show up on the news feed, only on each other’s private message board

 

Skout - is the developer of a location-based social networking and dating application and website. Skout was one of the first dating and mobile people discovery applications to emphasize generalized user location. Skout is available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Other Skout properties include Nixter, a nightlife app, and Fuse, an ephemeral group messaging app. Skout reported that over 500 million connections were made using its app in 2013. Skout uses a cellphone's global positioning system to help users to find other users within a general radius of one another. While searching for people, users can view the profile and recent activities of others that they find interesting. The application also allows users to instant message or send virtual gifts to one another. The company segregates its adult and teen communities. Skout is available in 180 countries and 14 languages

 

Burn Note - is a mobile messaging app where all messages self-destruct after reading. Messages are displayed using the patent-pending Spotlight system which is copy-resistant, prevents screenshots, and blocks people nearby from viewing your conversation.

When the recipient opens a message on Burn Note a countdown timer is started which destroys the message automatically after completion. Burn Note securely deletes all message data from the servers and the app on both the senders and receiver's phone or computer. Once a Burn Note has been deleted it cannot be viewed again.

Messages can be sent to other Burn Note users, to email addresses, or you can get a link to use anywhere. Non-registered users can access the Burn Note website as guests to participate in a conversation they have been invited to.

 

Xbox Live - Whether you're on your computer, your phone or your console, Xbox Social is your connection to the Xbox Live community. Send and receive messages with anyone anywhere in the world, Play games with multi players anywhere in the world, See which friends are online. Receive web and mobile requests The concerns here are you children can talk live to someone they never met on the console headsets, phone, computer from anywhere in the world and play games with them online. There are lots of foul language being exchanged.

 

Meow - It allows you to browse nearby users, much like Tender, and suggest people with whom you might be “compatible”. It has the ability to swap voice messages and photos, text and videos with people from countries across the world, it also works as a dating app in disguise and many are using fake profile pictures to talk with your child.

 

Nimbuzz - Enables users to enjoy free callsinstant messaging, Chat rooms, photo sharing social gamesfile sharing, and social networking on their mobile device. This site is not as secure as you might think. Teens are using this to send photos, messages and find girls/Guys to hook up with.

 

Chatous - On Chatous, you can chat with people from all over the world about the topics you care about. You never know whom you'll meet! That’s the issue you don’t know whom you will meet. You never know where these people are really from they can say they are from a different state and really just live around the corner. You can also share photos.

 

Line - “Hidden Chat” allows its users to send “hidden” or short, disappearing messages. It’s similar to Snapchat as it allows users to send text, images, and video that will be deleted shortly after they’re read, but LINE differentiates itself by allowing users to select how long the messages will remain available. This could be anywhere from two seconds to a week. Like Snapchat, disappearing messages poses problems for teens because it allows them to send and receive inappropriate or embarrassing messages that can still be saved using a screenshot.

 

WhatsApp - when you share a chat, photo, video, file or voice message with someone else on WhatsApp, they will have a copy of these messages. WhatsApp conversations when you're sharing a WiFi connection because there is no encryption at the application layer. [1] So if you use WA at some public network or even at your work WiFi, anybody who can access the network and is in range of your signal could be peeking into your chats and files

 

Afterschool App -The entire app revolves around anonymous and private message boards for any given school. Messages can take the form of videos, pictures, or regular text. Anyone in a school can see all the messages posted, and users are not identifiable in any way unless they reveal personal details within a message. This app has been used to bully other students because it’s anonymous

 

Younow - YouNow is a live broadcasting platform (an app and website at YouNow.com). On YouNow you can make a live video or watch channels produced by others. You can watch hundreds of live videos on YouNow without signing in (or registering for an account). To broadcast live videos on YouNow you need to sign in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account. You can follow people and get notifications when your favorite broadcasters go live. This app is dangerous it allows 13yrs old and up to chat. However, I have seen as young as 7yr on their chatting with 24 yr and older men.

 

Kakaotalk - This app raided my contact list and grabbed data without me ok’ing it…  people I had called just once from my phone are now my Kakao friends…Then I watched pretty much everyone on my contacts list show up on this.  Then I saw photos being shared and the app taking over as the main hub of the phone.  I had no control of what was shared.

 

Houseparty - This opens up an entirely new circle of communication and online safety is that if one person in the chat happens to be connected to a user and the others are not friends, those connections are still able to join the conversation because of the mutual connection. Which means that kids who do not know each other have the opportunity to be chatting with people they do not know.

 

OoVoo - With OoVoo you can make free video calls, voice calls, and send a text message to or with anyone. You can make up to 12 video calls at a time, on any device. You can talk to people around the world. This is dangerous because you may not know whom your child is really talking to.

 

 

 

 

 

Teens are now hiding inappropriate pictures behind Icons that look normal.

 

HMT Calorie Counter             Private Photo Vault                Gallery Lock Lite

Best Secret Folder                 AT & T My Utilities                  Keep Safe

KYMS-KY Calculator             Vaulty                                      Photo Vault

Smart Hide Calculator           Cover me                                Battery Information

Study Guide/Easy Study       Invisible                                   I Love Pink

Marijuana                              Extra Innings (baseball)          Phone Manger-Lite

Decoy Hide Text                    Purse Shopper                        SMS Safe

Free Fantasy                         PB –Private Box                      MTS

Lock Securely                       Stegano                                   HMT-Golf

Crypto SMS                          Calculator

 

 

 

 

 

Human Trafficking Sites

 

Daddy’s list                                                              Peppr.it

Ohlala                                                                      Erotic Mug Shot

BeNaughty                                                               Backpage.com

Hookup                                                                    Erotic Monkey

Whim                                                                       Seeking Arrangements

Down                                                                       Carrot Dating

Tinder                                                                      Sugar Daddy

Blendr                                                                      Sugar Momma’s

Pure                                                                         Craig’s List

Hookedin                                                                 Plenty of Fish

 

   

 

 

 

 

Apps/Software parents can use to see what their child is up to:

 

My Mobile Watch Dog                       You Diligence

Web Safety                                        Trend Micro’s online Guardian

Cyber Patrol                                       Cyber Synch’s

Mobicip                                               Verizon Family Base Plan

Go Go Stat’s                                       Social Shield

Safe Eyes                                           Net Nanny                                  

              **This is just a few there are many more**

 

 

 

Safety Apps

Safetrek                                         Panic Guard

Circle of 6                                      On Watch

Guardly                                          Lifeline Response

 bsafe                                             Myforce

 

**Some of these Apps cost and some are free**

                    

 

 

- The list is not the complete work of Western Kansas Child Advocacy. Information was obtained from multiple sources