Internet Safety - Messaging apps and keeping kids safe

Internet safety is important to all of us and whilst we as parents are happily knee deep in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, our children are immersed in a completely different set of social media platforms.

We all recognise that different generations have different likes and dislikes, but we also need to know what platforms and apps our children are accessing, so we can initiate some sort of effective parental control and keeping our kids safe from harm.

Children don’t understand about social media safety and that using an innocent app can be potentially dangerous to them, so here are five of the most popular apps and why you should be concerned:

Kik Messenger

This is a very popular app because it is free, fast and has no limits on the number of text messages, videos or photos your kids can send. Because it is an app, the messages are not stored in their phone, so you can’t view them, there is no parental control and as kids share their usernames publicly, it is simple for predators to contact them.

YikYak

Another free app that lets users post anonymous short messages, up to 200 characters, to the closest 500 users in their geographic area (determined by GPS). You can instantly see the problem here with predators having online access to your child and even knowing their location. With no parental control over what information can be accessed or shared, children can be exposed to online cyber bullying and explicit content.

WhatsApp

A free app that lets users send text messages, photos and videos with no limits on character length or number of messages. Once downloaded on your child’s phone, the app checks their contacts and automatically connects them with other WhatsApp users. Whilst there is minimum 16 year age limit, many youngsters easily circumvent this issue and WhatsApp is rapidly becoming a hot item for kids.

SnapChat

This is a messaging app for sharing photos and videos, but with a time limit on their availability. Kids love this app because they feel safe thinking that their images won’t go public. The problem is that nothing is safe on the internet and timed-out images (many are inappropriate photos) can easily be retrieved if you are internet savvy.

How KoalaSafe help with your children’s social media safety

With KoalaSafe you can set screen time limits on the internet, across all devices in your home, so it is only accessible during certain times of the day. You can also block specific websites and apps from being used, preventing your child from spending all evening online and keeping your kids safe from cyber bullying and predators.

For more information on KoalaSafe, email us at hello@koalasafe.com and ask us how KoalaSafe can increase the social media safety of your family.