12 Dangerous App Experts Warn Parents to Be Careful
FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) — New social media apps are popping up all the time, making it difficult for parents to keep track of what their kids are exposed to. Bark Technologies is an online application that helps parents monitor their children’s online habits. The company monitors more than 30 social media platforms for potentially harmful content that could end up at the fingertips of children.
At the top of the list is the one you’ve probably heard of. Snapchat is notorious for making messages and images disappear, but Bark Technologies warns that children may not fully understand that what they send isn’t really gone forever, and a screenshot is just that. one click away. Snapchat also has a location tracking feature called “Snap Map” which shares users’ locations with their friends, or possibly strangers.
The photo and video sharing platform, Instagram, ranks second among the most dangerous apps for children. Bark officials said the app followed in Snapchat’s footsteps by adding a disappear photos and messages feature.
“One of the main dangers of Instagram is the amount of inappropriate content that children can access in seconds, especially pornography. Parents can ignore this, but remember that a private account does nothing to prevent explicit searches – it just blocks certain users from seeing your child’s posts,” company officials said.
The platform is popular among teen gamers. Discord hosts a variety of chat rooms, direct messaging, and video calls. Chat rooms can range from massive public video game services to small private groups. In their listing, Bark Technology said Discord can contain inappropriate content, from hate speech and pornography to bullying and online predators. Bark’s 2021 annual report found Discord in the top five platforms for bullying, suicidal ideation, and body image.
4. Yik Yak
Children struggle with the virtual tag when their names are attached, but Yik Yak relies on the anonymity factor, and Bark’s manager said it’s making a resurgence. Yik Yak allows users to post anonymous messages, and people within a five-mile radius can read public messages.
“Yik Yak is also a breeding ground for bullying, especially when it becomes popular on school campuses. Rumors can be displayed and spread like wildfire. Another threat to watch out for is content that promotes sexual assault and violencean issue the app encountered in 2017.” Bark officials write.
5. Among Us
The video game pits four to 10 players against each other to uncover their group’s secret “imposter”. Among Us makes the lists because the phone and tablet game features a chat room for chatting between players. Bark officials said the chat is censored, but profanity and violent language can be common.
Although usually associated with breaking news and celebrities, Bark said Twitter is also a go-to source for porn.
“Kids know this and use Twitter to find porn because the platform won’t look suspicious if a parent quickly checks their browser history,” Bark officials said, “Likewise, because Twitter doesn’t isn’t exactly trendy with Gen Z, it’s Plus, it’s usually not an app that parents tend to worry too much about when setting screen time rules or creating filters Web, Bark officials said.
Another anonymous app that can be dangerous is Omegle. It is an anonymous website that matches users with strangers around the world. Kids these days are known to carry on Omegle looking for excitement during a sleepover, much like older generations did with prank calls or AOL chat rooms. Predators can use the anonymous site to groom children. They can also save photos and videos of their encounters.
Another to-do list app you may not have heard of is called Hoop. Bark officials describe the platform as a cross between dating app Tinder and social media app Snapchat. The site allows children as young as 12 to browse profiles and strike up a conversation with strangers. Profiles share information such as age, gender, and photos, and users can request a person’s Snapchat username to continue the conversation. Hoop says users over 18 won’t see children’s profiles. However, Bark Technologies warns that the app seems “a bit too close for comfort”.
9. Kik messenger
Kik Messenger is a direct messaging app that Bark officials say has almost no cash value. The platform says it’s all for kids 13 and older, but Apple’s App Store considers Kik Messenger inappropriate for anyone under 17. Users can send messages to their friends and family members, but also to strangers. This leaves the door open for potential predators to come into contact with the victims.
10. Vault Apps
These apps are used to compile and hide content on phones and tablets. Vault apps often disguise themselves as innocuous apps, a popular one being a fake calculator, which Bark officials said parents usually wouldn’t shy away from.
“Whether they hide banned apps like Snapchat or even inappropriate photos, nudes or racy memes, vault apps can cause problems,” the listing says.
Roblox is a video game with a concept similar to Minecraft. The game is popular among children aged five to 12. Users can create and publish their own games. Bark Technologies said that, as with any app with user-generated content, children may come across inappropriate or dangerous content while playing.
Unlike Among Us or Twitter, Yarn is not a game or social media app. It’s more of a reading app. The website tells stories through fake text messages which may be scary or sexual in nature. Some story titles on the app include “Send Nudes?”, “He’s Watching Me”, “Serial Slasher”, and “Sexting 101”.
At the end of the list, Bark Technologies officials said kids may not realize how dangerous the apps they’re on can be. The company recommends that parents engage in conversations with their children and weigh the pros and cons of the games, social media platforms, or reading apps they want to download.
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