Protecting kids online sometimes includes protecting them from themselves.
Popular apps and sites amongst teenagers can often include inappropriate content and a risk of cyberbullying and grooming. We've narrowed down some of the most popular apps and websites teenagers are using today.
Telegram is an instant messaging app designed to send destructble and encrypted messages to other users. The messages are both untraceable once they destruct meaning users can communicate with each other in total privacy.
As the logo suggests, Omegle is an online chat website where users have free reign to talk to anyone they wish. The website is reportedly full of online predators looking to groom young people into exchanging contact information with hopes of arranging a meeting. The website is very unsafe and not recommended for young people to have access.
Reddit is an online forum where users create an account to engage in online conversations. The topics vary greatly, however there are few limitations to the content which means teens are exposed to various pornography and innapropriate topics. The website is very popular among gamers as the most popular online games like Dota 2 and Counter Strike GO have threads contained within Reddit. This means that gamers have to access Reddit in order to discuss the games with other players. Once they're on Reddit, they will then be exposed to inappropriate content.
4Chan is a website, with an accompanying Android app, which is designed as a completely open forum. Similar to the forum Reddit, 4Chan users communicate in various thread topics on any given subject. The key difference is that unlike Reddit, 4Chan is completely anonymous. Users are not required to sign up and therefore can freely post any content they wish. This website is incredibly risky for young people, as the admins only ban users who post illegal pornography - anything else is fair game.
Yellow is a social media app, designed to connect young people with their peers. The app uses a swipe left/right function to browse through users nearby, much like popular adult dating app Tinder. When a match occurs, users are automatically given each other's Snapchat Username in order to connect on Snapchat. The app is incredibly risky as there is no verification, meaning that creating a fake profile is simple. Predators and cyberbullies can easily manipulate victims and will have access to users photos via Snapchat.
The potential dangers posed by these apps and websites sound terrifying and it can be easy as a parent to think that your teenager is ok, but the reality is that they aren't. The good news is that you don't have to be in it alone - Family Zone and our team of Cyber Experts can help you sort out what's appropriate for your child, and provide you with the tools and resources to help you navigate this journey.