5 Apps Your Teen Shouldn’t Download
More children now have access to smartphones and tablets than one could dream of not too long ago. Teens use smartphones and tablets for a number of things such as research, homework, playing games, texting friends, getting directions, taking pictures, updating social media, and of course making phone calls. Mobile computing and wireless technologies have made leaps and bounds into our everyday lives with some profound impacts on social life overall. Internet connectivity and the freedom to run complex programs quickly in such a small package make smartphones and tablets very useful for a lot of situations.
A smartphone by itself is not inherently bad, but there are people out there who will use smartphones in ways that can affect us deeply. Regrettably, many mistakes are made and momentary lapses in judgment can become quite public and remain online for years down the road. This is why it is important for parents to know which apps their teens are using and how they are using them. With a little foresight, parents can determine if an app is appropriate for their teen and look out for any potential pitfalls that may arise.
Here is a list of 5 apps that teens should not be using on their smartphone or tablet
YikYak is an app that sends anonymous messages to other YikYak users within a few miles of each other. Users post messages for other users nearby to respond to in an anonymous fashion. This can lead to meet-ups and gatherings of strangers on both large and small scales. The app has a possibility of abuse by predators and many times users will anonymously post hate mail within the app directed towards other users. The anonymity of the app makes meeting up quite dangerous and parents should watch out for this app on their teen’s smartphone and make sure that no risky behavior is taking place.
SnapChat is a popular messaging app that sends self-destruct messages which disappear a few seconds after they are viewed. This makes the app useful for sexting, since provocative photos only last on the recipient’s phone for a few seconds. The problem is that SnapChat is not completely foolproof, and users have been known to take photos of the secret messages to use later for revenge or blackmail. Teens should steer clear of this app and parents should make sure the app is on the list of unallowed applications.
Tinder is an online dating app that uses a smartphone or tablet’s GPS locator to find matches within a given area. Users browse photos of those nearby and rate them on how they are presented in their profile. The app is designed for adults only and ties in with a user’s Facebook account. Unfortunately, it is not very difficult to falsify information or create a fake Facebook account, so teens find their way onto Tinder which should raise flags when parents discover Tinder on their child’s smartphone.
Whisper is an anonymous confession app, similar to YikYak but with a slightly different theme. With Whisper, users are encouraged to anonymously post secrets or confess to thoughts they have without revealing who they are. The app is often used to bully or target someone who is known to use the app. Users reveal the secrets of others and call them names, making it difficult to pinpoint who is actually engaging in the harassment. Another problem is that the app could result in meeting strangers in real life, which is why parents should discourage their youth from using secret-sharing apps at all.
The slogan for Omegle is Talk to strangers!. Users start by entering in a few topics of interest, and Omegle finds others online with the same interest and connects two together in a chat room. Each connection is random and both people are usually complete strangers who want to talk about anything in particular. Either party has the option to disconnect at any time and find someone else to chat with. The problem with Omegle is that there are fraudsters and schemers who use the site to gain personal information from trusting individuals. The site even allows users to chat via webcam for a more personal experience. Leaving teens to chat with strangers in their bedroom is never a good idea. Parents should look out for Omegle and make sure that their children are being safe with their online devices.
To keep your child safe in a dangerous online world, check out our app PhoneSheriff.