ARTICLES, INTERNET SAFETY. FACTS ABOUT CYBER BULLYING
Top 10 Dangerous Apps
Top ten dangerous Apps all parents need to be aware of
There are many great benefits of having the world at our fingertips. With the development of smart-device apps over the last few years, the possibilities are endless with what you can do. From finding a gas station to using Photoshop on your phone, apps have brought social engagement to a whole new level. But unfortunately, not all apps are created equal, and not all apps are safe.
If you are a parent, it is important to stay informed on what apps should and should not be allowed on your children’s phones. Is this an invasion of privacy? Some may say so, but we may call it “parenting” and keeping your children safe. Here is a list of a few apps.
Yik Yak is most controversial for its contribution towards cyberbullying. The concept of Yik Yak is “anonymous posting”. Yik yak describes themselves like this:
Yik Yak acts like a local bulletin board for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users around you.
It allows anyone to connect and share information with others without having to know them. Posts are anonymous, but users will often start to reveal their identities. Yik Yak has been used for revealing sexual content and other “taboo” online engagements.
Snapchat is a popular app that lets users send photos, messages and videos that disappear within a matter of seconds. The catch is, that viewers are still able to take snapshots of the images and save them. An app like this may be used by youth to send private photos or images that they don’t wish anyone else to see on their phone.
Kik is an under 18 app. The premise behind this app is to allow youth to send messages that their parents can not view. This tool opens up the door for the sharing of sexual content and poses the risk of predators chatting with your children.
POOF is perhaps the scariest of them all. Poof makes all apps “disappear” on their phone with one touch. A simple respring brings the icons back with ease. This will allow your children to hide apps on their phones that they wish for you not to see. Scary? Well, there is some good news – this app is no longer available (whew!), however, if it was downloaded before it was deleted, your child can still use it. Be aware of copy cats – they are popping up constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.
Omegle is a high risk for sexual predators. This app when used does not reveal your identity. Your identity is only revealed as “you”, and those you are chatting with is “stranger”. No registration required. This app can be connected to your Facebook so you are able to find others with similar interests. It seems neat – but it is a high risk for sexual predators connecting with local youth.
Puff or Blow Skirt
Puff sends the entirely wrong message! Puff allows your kids to blow a lady’s dress up (yes, you read right). The user can blow into the microphone or use a swiping motion to lift the skirts of girls in photographs. Most girls are wearing underwear, but is simply not an appropriate app….for anyone!
9GAG seems harmless enough but is an open door for sexually suggestive material and offensive behaviour. This app is another way for users to spread sarcastic and crude pictures or posts as images with captions and texts. Images range from random pictures and pets to profanities. It may seem like a fun app, but there are many dangers to allowing youth to use this app.
Down is downright scary. This app is connected to facebook. Facebook friends become categorized in two ways: users can indicate whether or not their friend is someone they’d like to hang out with, or if they are “down” hook up with. The slogan for the App: “The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night”. Down is downright wrong!
Whisper encourages the online sharing of secrets. Users can search for others within a mile of them and build friendships that way. It is an open target for predators as you never really know who you are connecting with. There have been reportings of actual sexual abuse that have lead from this app.
Ask.fm allows encourages the posting of questions and answers – anonymously. This app leads to the development of cyberbullying, as youth can post questions about other students in negative ways. Connections to teen suicide have been linked to the use of this app. It is beginning to be banned in schools because of these incidents.