CV News

Kid Under BlanketAs kids get older, they become more interested in using apps on their smartphones and tablets. While some apps are perfectly safe and age appropriate, others may pose potential safety concerns. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the apps your kids may be using, so you can try to keep them safe online.

Understanding the App Landscape

It’s no secret kids love using apps. In fact, a recent study showed kids under the age of eight spend an average of two hours and 19 minutes per day using mobile devices and teens over seven hours per day. That’s a lot of time spent on screens!

Here is a list of five app categories you should understand:

  1. Social Media Apps: Most kids love staying connected with their friends and family on social media apps, like Instagram and Snapchat. While there are some great things about social media, there are also some possible dangers. For example, cyberbullying can be a problem.
  2. Messaging Apps: Kids often stay in touch with friends via messaging apps, like WhatsApp and iMessage. However, these apps may also be used for cyberbullying and other inappropriate behavior.
  3. Gaming Apps: While there are many age-appropriate and safe games out there, you need to be aware of the dangers of some gaming apps. For example, some games may contain violence, sexual content or in-app purchases that can add up quickly.
  4. Camera Apps: Camera apps, like Snapchat and Instagram, allow kids to share photos and videos with friends. However, these apps can also be used to share inappropriate content.
  5. Shopping Apps: Shopping apps, like Amazon and eBay, can be used to make in-app purchases that can add up quickly.
Potentially Dangerous Apps for Kids

Apps that allow for anonymous messaging and communication, such as Whisper and Yik Yak, can be dangerous for kids. Kids may be tricked into revealing personal information or sending inappropriate pictures.

Snapchat can also be potentially dangerous. While the app does have some safeguards in place, like only allowing snaps to be viewed for a limited amount of time, screenshots can be taken before snaps disappear or a separate camera can be used to record a posted video.

There are also a number of apps that may cause kids to neglect their studies and social lives. Some of these apps may include Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Flappy Bird. These apps can be frustrating and may cause kids to spend hours trying to beat them.

More Apps You Should Know About
  1. TikTok: This popular video-sharing app allows users to create and share short videos of themselves lip-syncing, dancing or performing other creative acts. While TikTok can be a lot of fun, kids may encounter some inappropriate content.
  2. Snapchat: This messaging app is popular with kids. It allows users to send disappearing photos and videos. However, the app may pose some safety concerns, such as “Snap Map” which can show your kids’ locations to anyone on their contact lists.
  3. Fortnite: This online multiplayer game can be fun and harmless, but kids may see violence and spend lots of time playing.
  4. Instagram: This photo-sharing app is popular among young people, but there is potential for cyberbullying.
  5. YouTube: This video-sharing platform can be a great resource for educational and entertaining content; however, some of the platform’s content may be inappropriate for kids.
  6. WhatsApp: This messaging app allows users to share their locations with others. Cyberbullying may also be a concern.
  7. Houseparty: This video-chatting app may allow strangers into chats.
  8. Discord: Bark’s 2021 Annual Report found Discord, a chat app that is popular among gamers, consistently in the top five platforms for bullying, suicidal ideation, body image and more.
  9. Kik: This messaging app allows users to share their locations with others. Cyberbullying may also be a concern.
  10. Hoop: This social media app may allow strangers into chats.
You Should Consider
  1. Talking to your kids about online safety, responsible use of apps and the specific apps they’re using.
  2. Setting limits on how much time can be spent on devices, apps, games or particular websites.
  3. Monitoring your kids activity on devices, including their app usage and web browsing history.
  4. Reviewing the apps your kids are using, researching safety concerns, ensuring the apps are age appropriate and blocking specific apps.
  5. Teaching your kids about cyberbullying, online predators and other online potential dangers.
Helpful Tools

Chariton Valley offers tools to help you protect your kids online and/or on the go.

  • ExperienceIQ®* provides parental controls within your home Wi-Fi network and is available to our fiber customers as an add-on service.
  • Bark monitors email, texts and 30+ apps and social media platforms, and sends alerts when potential issues are detected. Bark notifies you when your child arrives at or leaves a location you’ve chosen to monitor, blocks and filters websites and more. Bark is available to Chariton Valley customers and non-customers as a standalone service or in combination with ExperienceIQ* for the Total Experience for our fiber customers.

Contact us today to learn more or sign up!

*Subject to equipment capabilities.