In a recent survey it has been proved that the photo-sharing social network, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms among teenagers. On Instagram, the minimum age to have an account is 13. After signing up the user profile is available for public view by default. It means whenever a picture is uploaded to the app, it can be seen by anyone. It opens up chances of cyber bullying and stalking like vulnerabilities. If you are allowing your child use Instagram, here are some measures which you should adopt fast. First, turn the profile visibility to 'private' so that only the approved followers can view the photographs and secondly, make sure your child knows how to block users and report abusive images.
Snapchat is also a social media platform for sharing photos and videos. It makes users take a snap and send it to various friends. The receiver can see the image or the video for maximum 10 seconds and then it disappears. This app is also authorised for 12+ teens. The danger lies when the snap doesn't disappear completely. If misused, this app can lead to extensive harassment and bullying. Its parent guide says parents should know some basic things like Snapchat should be configured in such a way that messages are received only from those who are on the friend list, and snaps don't disappear fully as it can be easily saved to the receiver's phone within those 10 seconds.
Tinder is a dating app, so a minor below 18 years should not have access to it ethically. This app locates 'singles' in your location. You get to see an image of a person who is 'single' and if you find him/her attractive enough, you just swipe right and if that person also swipes right to you, then messaging starts between the two. This app has several hazards. It demands that every person should be physically attractive enough to attract the opposite sex, and it also ends up in meeting strangers online and then in person, without knowing much about their backgrounds. Being a parent it's your responsibility you should protect your child from such an app by making them understand the stranger danger.
4. Yik Yak:
It's a completely free app which requires no registration and allows complete anonymity too. It has an anonymous chat room and it connects around 500 nearby users. As registration is not required, users of any age group can use this app and it's quite popular among teens too. The app was originally made for college-goers and above, for college campuses. It was supposed to act as a virtual bulletin board. But younger people misuse the app a lot. Cyber-bullying is quite common surrounding this app and as it's anonymous, a writer who writes anything offensive cannot be traced easily.
It's another chatting site which identifies you as 'You' and a stranger as the 'Stranger'. This chat is also anonymous and it allows a text or a video conversation. Though they are anonymous, still some users share names, age and location through actual messaging. This app also opens up the potential for stranger danger. Keep your child safe from online predators and resist them from meeting strangers. Sharing private information can be scary for your entire family too.