Have you heard about the 15 apps parents should be aware of?

HAVE you heard about the 15 apps parents should be aware of?

As we prepare for the new school year, the Abbotsford Police Department would like to make sure parents are “in the know” about apps children may be using…and how those social media platforms may put youth at risk. 

The “15 apps Parents Should Know About” campaign was recently launched by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, following the arrest of 25 individuals who traveled to their area to have sex with someone they believed was a 14-year-old child. All of those arrested used one or more of the 15 apps to solicit a child for sex.  This campaign was launched to bring awareness to parents whose underage children may have unrestricted access to social media.

Here’s the full list of apps and their descriptions:

1) MEETME: A dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. App users are encouraged to meet in person.

2) WHATSAPP: Popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, and make calls and video chats.

3) BUMBLE: Similar to “Tinder.” The dating app requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to create fake Bumble accounts that falsify their age.

4) LIVE.ME: A live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn “cins” as a way to “pay” minors for photos.

5) ASK.FM: Known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions.

6) GRINDR: A dating app geared towards the LGBT community. The app gives users options to chat, share photos, and meet up based on a phone’s GPS.

7) TIKTOK: A new mobile device app popular with kids. It’s used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyber bullying and explicit content

8) SNAPCHAT: One of the most popular apps in recent years. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear, new features, including “stories”, allows users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.

9) HOLLA: A self-proclaimed “addicting” video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.

10) CALCULATOR%: Only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.

11) SKOUT: A location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.

12) BADBOO: A dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos and connect based on location. While the app is intended for adults only, teens are known to create profiles.

13) KIK: Allows anyone to contact and direct message to your child. Kids can bypass traditional messaging features. KIK gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

14) WHISPER: An anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.

15) OT OR NOT: Encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of the app is to hook up.



    I am emailing to notify the editor of distortions in the August 27 article titled “Have you heard about the 15 apps parents should be aware of?” that states “Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

    Kik takes online safety very seriously, and we’re constantly assessing and improving our safety measures. There are two ways we do this.

    One is through technology and constant improvements to the product itself. Our team is regularly investigating new technologies and evaluating moderation practices to help us become leaders in online safety. We also encourage users to report content that they believe violates the Kik Terms of Service and Community Standards. Users are able to block other users they no longer wish to chat with, or ignore chats from people that they don’t know. Actions are taken against users found to have violated Kik’s Community Standards or TOS. Those actions may include banning the user from the Kik platform, and reporting illegal behaviors to law enforcement agencies.

    The other is through education and partnerships with organizations that help adults and teens understand the challenges of today’s online landscape and how to avoid bad situations. For years, we’ve had teams dedicated to this, and we will continue to invest in those types of tools, provide resources to parents, and strengthen relationships with law enforcement and safety-focused organizations.

    Online safety will always be a priority for us. We want our users to safely enjoy Kik, and we will continue making it a positive place for them to interact and have meaningful conversations.

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