Here is a list of social media apps and sites parents should watch out for. New apps and sites are constantly being created and we will try to keep up-to-date with the latest apps. We always recommend that parents talk to their children about apps, cyber-bullying, and privacy. There are many apps that can be okay for children if they are used correctly. (There is a list at the bottom of this post.) You should always monitor what your children are doing on these apps, especially at the younger ages. Many of these apps are for 13+ or 17+ but children can lie about their age and create an account.
Top 10 Apps to Watch For
1) Yik Yak
The app is rated 17+. Everything is posted anonymously. It was started for college students to spread the word about parties and events. Younger students are using it to spread rumors or hurtful comments. The “Yaks” (posts) show up based on area. This makes it easy to post about other students, teachers, or the school itself and only have other local students see the yaks.
The app is rated 17+ but you can sign up at the age of 13. It is used to “hook up” with other local people. It is also location based and anonymous other than a picture. This app can be used for sexual harassment, stalking, or other similarly scary uses.
3) Kik Messenger
The app is rated 17+. It is a messenger app and therefore users and connect with other users who they do not know. The app has been used for cyber-bullying and sexting.
The app is rated 12+. The app allows users to send pictures or short videos to other users. The picture or video will disappear after 10 seconds of viewing. However, users can take screenshots and save the picture forever. The app is being used for sexting and sending nude photos.
This app is rated 17+. It is another anonymous app. Users are encouraged to share secrets and confessions and add pictures. Other users can then like the secret or confession. The app also uses location.
This app allows users to find another users location based on pictures that have been posted to social media sites. It opens the location right in Google Maps.
This site allows users to anonymously ask questions. It is an open site with no login or monitors.
The app is rated 18+. Talk to Strangers. It picks random people for you to talk to. You can chat via text or video. It is anonymous unless the user shares information.
The app is rated highly mature. A flirting app based on location. Flirt and meet other users and go on dates.
The app is for people who are down to hook up. This app used to be called Bang with Friends.
Facebook Apps to Watch For
This a Facebook app. It is a question-answer app. Students are sometimes using these questions for cyber-bullying.
This is a Facebook app similar to Snapchat.
Online Slam Books
Always monitor apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Pheed, Oovoo, Skype, WhatsApp, Reddit. Most of the apps are okay. However, users can find inappropriate content, post information that should not be shared, or use them for cyber-bullying.