Kik Messenger Not a Good Choice For Kids
A common smartphone application teens use to send text messages is Kik Messenger. Kik Messenger works separate from a standard cell phone plan and can be used over Wi-Fi even if the phone’s primary service has been turned off. Kik works as a convenient way to connect and share websites, photos and texts without worrying about overages. Kik me is a common phrase used on Facebook, in chat rooms and on discussion forums which ask readers to send private messages directly to a smartphone or tablet. Kik Messenger is a convenient app to use and offers a way for others to get in touch without needing to share a phone number. Users can chat with others from around the world without roaming or cell phone penalties, making communicating abroad much more cost effective. Unfortunately, there is a dark side associated with users of Kik Messenger and some of the junkier messages are for adult audiences only.
Kik Messenger is great when used for its intended use. There are over 185 million Kik users worldwide. Using Kik to chat with someone is a way to save on international costs or avoid going over on allotted texts. The app can be used instead of a cell phone number, so it can be easier to share a point of contact with a name instead of a phone number. Messages sent through Kik are not limited by traditional wireless bandwidth, so messages can be longer and shared photos can be of greater quality. The app is commonly used by teens who no longer have a cell phone service or change their numbers frequently. The app is commonly brought up in online discussions and chat rooms and provide chatters with a way to message privately without interrupting others or revealing too much information to the public. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for complete strangers and scammers to get a personal point of contact which is why it is not suitable for teens.
Any app that links with an email account or a phone number requires that the user be at least 13 years of age. Kik Messenger has this requirement and additionally require that children under 18 acquire parental consent before installing or using the application. This is because of the large number of users who exploit Kik’s freedom of communication to scam others out of personal information or money if they are not careful. Spammers create programs called bots which log into chat rooms and forums to tell users to get in touch with Kik. From the Kik Messages, another bot will make it seem as though you are chatting with a real person and they will direct you to a site to enter payment information for services. In most cases, these bots offer no service and sell any information they get, including the Kik username to the highest bidder. Kik allows for explicit content to be sent and received, so parental discretion is strongly advised.
Giving a child a smartphone with full privileges is a big decision for parents to make and the possibilities of misuse should not be overlooked. There are many ways in which the smartphone with cameras, video, music and Internet connection can be useful and entertaining, but there are also many ways in which a smartphone can make it very easy to get into trouble. It is up to parents to understand what their children are doing online and what can go wrong if they are contacted by the wrong people or believe the wrong thing. The Internet is not going away and it will always be faced with constant dangers. Parents and children should work as a team to understand the dangers so that they can all be equipped to be safe and responsible online.