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Tips for keeping your child safe online: 11 Apps and Sites to be aware of

Part of our Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe Online series, here are 11 apps and sites to be aware of as a parent:

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snapchat#1. Snapchat

The Snapchat App allows users to send photos that will disappear after 10 seconds. Once the recipient opens the picture, the timer starts. Then it’s gone. From both the sender’s phone and the recipient’s phone. However, the recipient can take a screen shot of the photo and have it to share with others. It’s a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. Snapchats can be recovered.

Mykidstime asked Greg Fry, parent and social media practitioner, to create a series of videos giving Practical Internet Safety advice for Parents. Here Greg explains what Snapchat is all about in the first of our series Snapchat Guide for Parents.

Here’s our Parent’s guide to Snapchat

#2. KiK Messenger

kikmessenger
Kik Messenger is a private messenger app popular with many under 18s. It’s free to use but has ads. The App allows the user to send private messages. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of strangers chatting with your child.

Kik can also link to other Kik-enabled apps within itself. The app also encourages new users to invite everyone in their phone’s address book to join Kik, since users can only message those who also have the app. An app named OinkText, linked to Kik, allows communication with strangers who share their Kik usernames to find people to chat with.

whisper#3. Whisper

Whisper is a meeting App that encourages users to post secrets, whatever is on their minds with an image.. You post anonymously but it displays the area you are posting from.

You can search for users posting within a mile from you. You never know the person behind the computer or phone.

#4. Vine

vineVine is an app that lets users post and watch looping 6-second video clips. Owned by Twitter, Vine has developed a large community of people who post videos that are often creative and funny — and sometimes thought-provoking. There are inappropriate videos in terms of children and even teens.

As with any app you should make sure to adjust your settings to protect your posts so that only followers see them and that you have to approve new followers.

#5. Yik Yak

yikyakThis free app allows users to post text-only “Yaks” of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Although the posts are anonymous, kids start revealing personal information as they get more comfortable with other users.

The app does reveal your location by default unless you toggle location sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location. Users can be potentially exposed to sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks.

You might also like reading Tips on Smartphone and Tablet Safety and Advice for Parents on Cyber-Bullying

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