Most Dangerous Apps for Teens in 2016
The year is rolling to a close, and it has been another banner year for app technology. Apps have rolled out, gained popularity, and fallen from grace over the course of this year, and people are still using them. When it comes to keeping your teen safe as they play about on their phone, it is important to check in every now and then to see if they are up to no good. However, what dangerous apps should you be keeping a look out for?
This app is marketed as a “dating” app, but it would be more accurate to call it a hook up app. Tinder combines online dating profiles, GPS, and instant messaging into an app so you can find people interested in you nearby. Unfortunately, with no age verification, it is likely your teen is getting matched with a number of adults that use it. It has also had security breaches in the past that have exposed not only locations, but other private information. While your teen may enjoy the fact that an attractive person has “swiped right” on them, this is an app for sexting and risky sexual situations, not for connecting with others.
This app seems innocent enough, but while video chatting can be fine between friends, Omegle allows kids to connect with random strangers. There have already been a few reports of predators using this app to find victims, but infinitely more likely is that your children are going to see things they probably shouldn’t be seeing. Like with Chat Roulette of old, video chatting with random strangers is a popular place for unsolicited nudity to pop up.
This anonymous messaging app allows people to post short messages for those near them to read. This seems fine, but it has already been banned in a number of schools due to rampant abuse by cyber bullies. On the app, you post short messages and people around you up or down vote them. This system is particularly hurtful when someone posts something mean about another user and has the community chime in. As they are anonymous, the cyber bullying goes widely unpunished.
While one of the most popular social apps in the world, Snap Chat is still no less controversial. What makes it such a problem is that photos or videos that are sent through the service disappear once viewed, so you can never be quite sure what your teen is up to. While popular for safe conversations, Snap Chat is also the most popular sexting app on the market. It is also worth noting that while the content is supposed to disappear, there are ways to save pictures which can be used to blackmail your child. This is one app that can be okay for teens, so long as they can assure you that they will use it responsibly.
This is a messaging app that is still rising in popularity, but rising in completely the wrong circles. Despite having a 13+ age restriction, there is absolutely no verification for it. As such, both adults and children are using it for not so innocent purposes. Kik has become the messenger of choice for those looking for casual sexting and people often send other users unsolicited nude photos.
All of the above apps should be treated as highly suspect if you find them on your teen’s phone. They were just as dangerous in 2016 as they will be in 2017. In order to make sure your teen is safe in the wide and occasionally dangerous digital world, parents need to make sure they stay up-to-date on what apps are a real danger.