These Instant Messaging Apps Can be Dangerous for Your Kids
Digital parenting is a challenging task. The challenges of the digital world have made parenting a much more daunting task than it already was. Because new social apps are being launched regularly, it has become quite difficult for parents to keep track of their children’s online activity and to find out if they are safe.
Kids are spending a huge chunk of their time on social media and instant messaging apps, always trying to stay in touch with others. However, in an attempt to keep in touch with their friends, they may be using some of the most dangerous instant messaging apps. For example, WhatsApp.
WhatsApp has allowed children and teens to have private instant messaging with their friends. This app could be a gateway through which cyberbullies, online predators, and strangers may enter your children’s lives. The best way to protect your children is to install WhatsApp spy apps for Android on their devices.
Having said that, the danger does not end with WhatsApp. Almost all instant messaging apps are deemed dangerous for kids. There are a few common features found in every instant messaging app that can be clear indicators for parents that these apps are not safe for their kids. These include features that may expose your child to the following: the ability to chat with strangers, anonymous messaging, and self-destructing photos, videos, and messages.
Parents should take protective measures and install monitoring apps or parental controls on their kid’s devices to remain aware of who they are texting with and what sort of messaging they are exchanging with others.
Top Dangerous Instant Messaging Apps for Your Kids
Let us learn more about the dangerous instant messaging apps your kids might be using and also find out how these apps can be harmful to them:
Snapchat is a popular social media app among children and teens. Essentially, it is a photo-sharing app where users can send each other messages in the form of “snaps.” Photos, videos, and text messages can be shared with others with a restricted amount of viewing time. When the time ends or the user navigates away from the message, it self-destructs and cannot be viewed again.
Many children fail to realize that even though this app helps them exchange self-destructing messages, the receivers can still take screenshots of their messages. The app notifies you immediately when someone takes a screenshot of a photo or video you’ve shared with them but there is no way to prevent the content from being distributed among others.
The screenshots can act as potentially dangerous for kids as someone can easily misuse the content or manipulate innocent kids into doing things that they wouldn’t want to do. Therefore, it is important that parents regularly monitor their kid’s Snapchat activity.
WhatsApp is the world’s leading instant messaging service that allows users to exchange an unlimited amount of text messages, photos, videos, and other files. What makes this instant messaging app one of the most dangerous apps for kids is that they can interact with others using the app on other platforms except for their smartphones. This means they can exchange messages with others that are not saved on their smartphones and cannot be reviewed by parents.
Parents should be aware that the instant messaging service can be used on both mobile devices as well as desktop computers. Moreover, they should know that this messaging app offers end-to-end encryption, which means only the sender and the receiver can see the messages. The only way to protect your kids from dangers on this app is to install a WhatsApp spy app for Android or iPhone on your kid’s devices.
Kik is another instant messaging app that allows children to send private and group messages. Ever since it has been launched, it is continually making headlines because of how dangerous it can be for kids. Kik puts a restriction on how many recent messages can be saved, saving only a particular number within forty-eight hours and older. This makes it difficult for parents to monitor their kid’s Kik chats.
On the other hand, Kik also makes it hard to identify both the sender and receiver of messages as there is no verification for the profiles. It has been reported that this app is quite popular among sexual predators.
Several cases of child exploitation have been reported since the launch of this app. This app has not only exposed children to mature content but has also led them to several inappropriate chat rooms where sexual predators try to maintain contact with them and turn them into a victim of child pornography.
These were some of the most dangerous instant-messaging apps for kids these days. Besides restricting their device usage, enabling parental controls and installing monitoring apps on their devices, parents can sit and have a chat with their kids about these apps.
They should explain to them to what extent these apps can be damaging for their mental health and wellbeing. This way children can make better decisions while using these apps.