#parent | #kids | These are the 10 smartphone apps that parents need to know if their kids are using

So you’re Facebook friends with your kids, you’ve got a Whatsapp group the whole family uses, and you’ve got a definite opinion on the Snapchat upgrade.

It doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep a close eye on the apps your children are using.

A list of the 10 smartphone apps teenagers are using that parents need to know about is being widely shared on social media.

Some police here in the UK have shared the list as something parents need to know about.

They are urging parents to stay up-to-date with the latest online trends, in an effort to “increase awareness of cyber safety”, reports the Plymouth Herald.

The list, which was created by US blogger April Requard, includes a mix of apps that many parents may not have heard of.

Speaking about the list on her blog, Appsolutely April, Requard said: “We have to talk to our kids and teach them how to navigate through this online world.

“I believe strongly in not blocking everything, but in my opinion, there are certain apps that are just off-limits and I will share those with you in this [list].”

Here are the apps in question:

1. Calculator App lock


There’s a lot more to this app than meets the eye.

Requard explained: “This app might look like a calculator but it actually functions as a secret photo vault.”

This app hides your most private photos and videos in plain sight – disguised as a humble calculator.

You can also use the app to write and store private notes and securely surf the internet with a private browser.

Other apps with similar settings include Secret Calculator Vault and Calculator + Photo Lock Vault.

2. Omegle


Omegle is one of the most recognisable names on the list.

Requard describes the service as a free online chat website that “promotes chatting anonymously to strangers”.

Omegle, which was launched in 2009, randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they can chat anonymously to people all around the world.

The site now provides a mobile app that lets users chat with strangers from mobile devices.

3. Yubo (formerly called Yellow)


This app has had quite a lot press in the past for its similarity to adult dating apps.

Requard explained: “This app is designed to allow teens to flirt with each other in a Tinder-like atmosphere.”

Yubo, which was previously called Yellow, has been criticised for encouraging young users to swap texts and photos with nearby strangers.

Its users are also able to ‘swipe’ other users that they are interested in and swap selfies with each other.

The app has been criticised due to concerns that the photo-based dating app could be used to trade naked pictures.

4. Whisper


Requard describes Whisper as an “anonymous app where the creators promote sharing secrets and meeting new people”.

The service allows users to post and share private photo and video messages completely anonymously.

The posts, known as ‘whispers’, consist of text superimposed over an image – which can be uploaded or selected from an in-app search engine.

The app was launched in 2012 and now has 250 million monthly users across 187 countries.

5. Ask.fm


Ask.fm is a social networking site where users can create profiles and send each other questions.

Requard claimed that the app had been “linked to the most severe forms of cyberbullying” as it allowed users to ask and answer questions anonymously.

The site, which was launched in 2010, came under fire following the deaths of two English teenagers who killed themselves after they were bullied on the site.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron later called for a boycott of websites that did not take responsibility for cyberbullying on their sites.

6. Hot or Not


Hot or Not is a game where you upload your best pictures and get rated by other users.

Requard said: “Strangers rate your profile. The goal is to lead to a hook up.”

The aim of the game is to rate people in your area and let them rate you in return.

The app will let you see how ‘hot’ your friends are and view a list of the hottest people nearby.

7. Burnbook


Burnbook is an anonymous gossip app that is named after the book in the teen movie Mean Girls.

Requard explained: “Post anonymous rumours about people through audio, messages, texts and photos.”

Users can download the app phones for free, search for school “communities” within 10 miles, and share text, photo, and audio messages with other community members.

It is worth noting that this app may have been removed from Itunes and Google Play following complaints.

8. Wishbone


Wishbone is a controversial comparison app that allows users to compare whatever they want to.

Requard said she was concerned about it because it “allows users to compare kids against each other and rate them on a scale.”

9. Kik Messenger


Kik is a free instant messaging mobile app that allows users to send and receive messages, photos, videos and mobile web pages.

You can also join special groups and video chat using the app.

Requard said: “Kik has in built apps and web content that would be filtered on the home computer.”

Kik is known for its features preserving users’ anonymity, such as allowing users to register without providing a telephone number.

In 2016, Kik had around 300 million registered users.

10. Instagram


Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service that is owned by Facebook. It is also probably the most recognisable name on the list.

The app, which was launched in 2010, allows people to upload pictures and videos, follow other users and ‘like’ and comment on their feed.

Users can also post daily ‘stories’ and message each other privately.

Requard claims that Instagram is dangerous because it allows users to use more than one account.

She explained: “Many social media platforms allow for more than one user account.

“Kids will use one profile to interact with their friends and the other one is their “angel” account where they’d only post what they’d want their grandmother to see.

“In Instagram, kids call it a “finsta” which means “fake Instagram” account.

“Kids also like to text using Instagram because messages are deleted once a user deleted once a user leaves a conversation.”

She also says that kids are more likely to use this app to message each other, as it is easy to delete private messages.




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