New apps are being created all the time; many are harmless, even helpful, but as a parent of a young teenager, I’m constantly on the lookout for those apps that might be a bit more sinister. There’s lot of information out there for parents, but here’s a selection of apps that have been linked to harmful behaviour amongst teenagers (and adults and teens).
This is a free social media platform that encourages anonymous discussions and relationships. There are suggested safety elements to this app but it’s at the user’s discretion. For more information, visit Common Sense Media.
Another platform for anonymous connections, the Whisper app features the additional encouragement of sharing secrets and information. While advertised as being for adults, it is accessible by all.
Hot or Not
Users are able to rate profiles in order to establish hook ups. Again, the app is accessible by anyone and ultimately aims for users to meet in person.
Burn Book gives users the chance to post anonymous rumours about people through messages, texts and images.
This one looks like a calculator on a screen, but its function is to work as a secret photo vault, hiding photos your teenagers might not want you to see. The video in the link also gives some great information about how to know what apps are live on your child’s phone.
Parenting teens is hard enough, and the prevalence of tech and social media makes it more pressing for parents to know what kids are up to. The best protection is to ensure that you have a good dialogue with your children. Don’t be too invasive but encourage a level of trust that allows your children to make the right choices when it comes to using any new apps on the market.
Don’t forget that some apps are accessible on desktops and iPads as well.
For more information about how to talk to your children about internet safety, see an earlier feature we published.