From Sheriff David A. Mahoney
Phone - 884-3168
Email – email@example.com
Web Site – www.tcsonc.org
Crime Tips – www.tipsubmit.com
Apps and Websites Parents Should be Aware Of
Last week we focused on the apps instagram and snapchat. This week, we look at Tinder and Kik Messenger.
Tinder - Tinder is first and foremost, a dating app or a hook-up site. Therefore it is questionable as to why children 13 years old (and sometimes under, if the account holds a false age), and most importantly a minor, should be allowed to have it.
This app locates ‘singles’ near your location. An image of a ‘single’ is shown and if you find them attractive, you ‘swipe right’. If they ‘swipe right’ to you as well, then you can message them. There are a number of problems this app can cause from use by children: First of all, it puts emphasis on the belief that they need to be physically attractive to be desired, which promotes unhealthy obsessions with appearance. It also opens them up to the dangers of meeting potentially dangerous strangers online and eventually in person.
As a parent, you can protect your child by:
ü Emphasising the importance of ‘stranger danger’: Make sure they are wary and aware that people are not the same online as they are in person.
ü Wait until they are older: If possible, do not allow them to use the app until they are at least 16.
Kik - This free app is rated for people aged 17 and over, however it has been reported that its main users are actually aged 11-15. Due to the fact that Kik is not too well-known among adults, it appeals to kids and younger teens. One expert on cybersecurity stated that more and more kids are going away from Facebook and changing to Kik.
The use of fake names (usernames) also makes it harder to monitor their activity. However this app also draws in pedophiles and drug dealers who can communicate with and influence these children.