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Kik Messenger: a warning for parents

Popular messenger app Kik has increasingly come under fire recently due to widespread reports of child exploitation occurring via the app.

What is Kik Messenger?

The app functions similarly to other popular message apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, however the technology is much less refined meaning it’s very easily hacked and identity verification is non existent - which means anyone can create an account and communicate anonymously.

It’s also very popular amongst teens and kids for several reasons ..

1. Users are allowed to create anonymous accounts

2. Users don’t have to verify their age

3. Parents who monitor their kids devices often overlook Kik, focusing on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat

4. Kik has a built-in web browser, games, and video access, which makes it a self-contained social network where kids and teens can communicate with their peers privately.

A popular young person’s social media app that can be joined anonymously creates an environment where online predators can easily exploit their victims.  Kik is now connected to hundreds of cases of grooming and child exploitation across Australia and the US. Predators are also creating spambots within the app, which are essentially computer generated accounts that automatically send information to other users - that they use to send child exploitation material to other users. Predators do this to desensitise their victims. There is also a significant amount of pornography on Kik, which is also distributed using spambots.

Our Cyber Experts rate this app as Unsafe for anyone under the age of 17 and therefore access is blocked on Family Zone protected devices. 

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Topics: Parental Controls, Cybersafety, Cyber Experts, parenting, kik messenger