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Love should never hurt- ever! 03-29-17

 

Technology and our kids

(Part 2)

 

If last week’s information about teen focused apps didn’t scare you- look at these!

Snap (also known as Snapchat)- this app allows users to send photos and videos that are supposedly deleted after being viewed for a few seconds. Lots of kids love this app because there are no likes or comments but remember- Nothing is ever totally deleted, including these SNAPS.

Spotify- has surpassed Pandora as their favorite music streaming service. Minimum age is 18 unless parent/guardian consent is given. Kids share songs they like and see what their “friends” are listening to as well.

Yellow- Parents need to know that Yellow is a social media app for iOS and Android devices that lets you create a profile, share your location, and flip through images of other users in your area. It’s been called “Tinder for Snapchat”. Technically users must be over 13 to use the app, but if you try to enter a birth date for a person under 13, the app’s login screen defaults to a birth date that is over 13 and allows you to create an account anyway. Users are invited to swipe right on profiles they like and swipe left on profiles they don’t, and you can endlessly browse the profiles of people in your area and automatically link to follow their profiles on Snapchat and Instagram. If you swipe right on a person who has swiped right on your profile, you can then chat and automatically follow them on Snapchat. With limited features and problematic privacy issues, there’s not much to recommend this app. Read the app’s privacy policy which is embedded within its terms of service to find out more about the types of information collected and shared. There are huge concerns about predators using this app to chat with kids.

Spotafriend- This app says it is a new way to make friends. It uses GPS locators to allow teens and pre-teens to “swipe” on profiles, get pictures and connect with strangers. While iTunes and Google Play gives it a 17+ rating, @SpotaFriendTeen describes it as an “app alternative for ages 13-19. This site has blogs with topics such as “10 Condom Secrets” and “How to Seduce a Girl Online.”

Mylol- is an app focusing on teenagers for social networking and dating. The profile typically includes photos, sexual orientation, quiz questions, videos and personal interests. Mylol users must be at least 13 and supposedly users over the age of 19 are not allowed to join. However, I’ve been told by a savvy parent that there are a lot of explicit photos and a great deal of personal information being shared on this site. Not likely to be a safe site for kids.

Hotornot- This app is all about looks. Users rate each other on their attractiveness based on photos. You tap on a heart or an X to rank each other. If two users think the other is “hot”- they can begin to exchange messages.

Meetme- used to be called MyYearbook. This app is quite popular for social networking (aka- flirting). In 2014, it was sued for “lax privacy protections which give sexual predators a high tech tool to exploit kids…” Note that registration requires users to include access to their phones’ geo-location for match-ups on-the- go.

Honestly, the best website I’ve found for parents to get up to date information about cyber safety is commonsensemedia.org or please feel free to contact me at Crisis Services 256.574.5826 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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