If your kiddo is heading back to school this year with a smartphone, the Frisco Police Department has scoured some apps that could be a cause for concern for the safety of your child. If you’re not familiar with them, we’ve got a quick run-down below.
According to Officer Grant Cottingham with Frisco Police, many of these apps have location services, miking it easier for predators to find the exact location of your child. Now’s a good time to start the conversation about the use of these apps, or consider whether or not they’re old enough to use any of them responsibly.
Ask.FM – This app encourages a user to allow people to ask them questions anonymously, increasing the risk of cyberbullying.
Baddo – A dating and social networking app where users can connect based on location. Like similar apps, minors create fake accounts by falsifying their age.
Bumble – A popular dating app that requires women to make initial contact. Like other dating apps, minors create fake accounts by falsifying their age.
GRINDR – A dating app geared towards the LGBTQ community. It gives users the options to chat, share photos and meet up based on a phones GPS.
Holla – A video chat app that allowed users to meet people all over the world in seconds. Reviewers say they’ve been exposed to racial slurs, explicit content and more.
Hot or Not – An app that encourages users to rate your profile, check our people in their area and chat with strangers.
Kik – A messaging app that bypasses traditional texting features. It allows users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Live.me – A live-streaming app that uses geolocation to share videos so that users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn ‘coins’ as a way to ‘pay’ minors for their photos.
MeetMe – A dating social media app that allows people to connect based on geographic proximity. Users are encouraged to meet in person.
Secret Calc – One of several apps disguised as calculators used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
Skout – A location-based dating app and website. Like similar apps, minors create fake accounts by falsifying their age.
Snapchat – One of the most popular messaging apps with minors, chats are designed to disappear. “Story” feature allows certain content to be viewed for up to 24 hours. It also reveals a users location.
TikTok – used for creating and sharing short videos. Popular with kids, it has very limited privacy controls and users are vulnerable to cyberbullying and explicit content.
WhatsApp – allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, place calls, and video chats.
Whisper – anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a users location.