If you have a child with a smartphone or device, then you need to know about these apps. Whether they allow your kids to message people they do not know or hide photos and messages on their phone, these apps can lead to dangerous situations for your child. Monitor your child’s phone and talk to them about app usage to keep them safe.
Dating & Sharing Apps
Free dating apps don’t have a lot of rules around who can join. A child or teen can easily lie about their age and gain instant access to share photos, messages, and more with complete strangers. The list of these apps keeps on growing day after day, but there are a number of them that are at the top of our unsafe watchlist:
- Plenty of Fish – Free dating app that encourages chatting with strangers.
- Mocospace – This app is geared towards African-American and Latino communities and allows text messaging and voice calling within the app to other users.
- MeetMe – As the name suggests, MeetMe allows people to connect with others that are located within close proximity.
- Bumble – A dating app specifically designed for women. It is similar to other dating platforms; however, it requires the females to make the first contact.
- Hily – An app that allows chatting, sending private photos, and videos to other users. It also allows them to meet up locally based on their GPS location.
- Grindr – This app is geared towards gay, bi, and transgender individuals and allows users to chat, share photos, and meet in person based on their smartphone GPS location.
- Holla – This app allows people to video chat with people from all over the world in just seconds.
- Zoosk – This is another location-based dating app that matches users to random strangers and is available in 80 different countries.
- Monkey – From group chats to private messaging options, this app claims to be rated for ages 12 and up to connect people with random strangers.
- LiveMe – This is a live-streaming video app that allows viewers can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can even earn coins as a way to pay for photos.
Other Dangerous Apps
Some apps come off as completely innocent at first glance. For example, Calcultor% is not a calculator app at all. Instead, it is used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history. Ask.FM encourages anonymous users to ask each other questions, which seems fine until you know that it has been in the spotlight for promoting cyberbullying.
Snapchat and TikTok are both very popular apps among kids. TikTok is used for creating short videos and has limited privacy controls, which can leave children susceptible to adult content and cyberbullying. Snapchat is a very popular app that allows users to take photos or videos that disappear when viewed. The videos show the user’s location.
With the wide variety of apps available today, being aware of what they do can help you monitor your child’s activity to keep them safe. Even if you monitor their device usage and have parental controls set up, some of these apps have names that might allow them to get past those security protocols.
Research apps before you allow your child to install them on their devices to make sure they are safe and age-appropriate.