Conversation Starters: Top 10 apps parents need to watch for

We are all about starting conversations about technology user. Kids with Android devices will send notifications to their parents’ Android or iOS device when new app installs are performed but our iOS child mode is growing fast lately so here are top 10 apps that chat with your pre-teen / teen about. Here are 10 apps we think all parents should be aware of. Covered are apps with anonymous chatting capabilities to group messaging video/message apps.

Calculator (Vault App)

Calculator Vault- Gallery Lock

This app falls into a category named “vault apps”. This type of app will look just like a calculator app but allow storage of any type of .content “behind” the scenes when the correct passcode is entered. Typically used to store inappropriate content like pornography when it comes to teens. I wrote about these types of apps a while ago including a refreshed post on how to start a conversation about these and it still continues to be a hot topic in terms of the traffic we get on a daily basis to this blog post. I share several examples that are cross platform (Android and iOS).

Ask.FM

ASKfm app logo

This app also takes the approach of anonymous conversations – ask a question, get an answer. Ask.FM is linked primarily as one of the worst places for cyberbullying. NoBullying.com shared 7 stories which resulted in teens taking their lives.

Omegle

Omegle

This app allows anyone to chat with strangers, it’s anonymous and can easily end up in bad conversations that kids shouldn’t be having. Wayne Denner, an speaker and social media educator, wrote about this app.

Whisper

Whisper

Another anonymous app that focuses on having the user ask random questions to complete strangers that are close by. The creator of this app promotes the idea of sharing your most personal secrets and meeting new people that are close to your based on your smartphone location and “…wondering what the people around you are really thinking?” The platform has examples that are good but such an app just opens up potential problems when used by kids.

Sarahah

250px-Sarahah_logo

This app was recently taking down from by Apple and Google due an online petition started here. The catch now, users that still have this app can continue to use it and Sarahah still offers web version of their platform.

Twitter

twitter app logo

Twitter has both it’s site indexed by Google and has a mobile app. The biggest issue with Twitter is the readily available pornography that can be searched very quickly from tweeted photos and many celebrities in the adult entertainment market. I wrote about Twitter not that long ago.

Skype

skype

Skype continues to be used by many adults, including kids! It’s popular primarily due to it’s group chats/video conference capabilities. Skype does have some privacy issues where people you don’t know can request to chat. Using a common sense approach regarding accepting requests from people your do not know/didn’t ask to connect is best here.

Snapchat

Snapchat

Snapchat continues to be very popular with kids but I’ve also seen more parents using it. Just like many other social media apps, common sense on what you post, share and comment applies. I previously wrote about some tips to watch for.

Kik

kik app logo

This app is primarily a messaging app but inside of it includes a web browser that is unfiltered, others apps and games can be used within it. I wrote about this app and thanks for a bad personal experience in my family with this app, I’m quite passionate as to why I recommend parents to simply not allow this app to be used by their kids.

Instagram

Instagram

Instagram started as an image sharing platform but has gained many features such as messaging which is very popular with kids when chatting across various devices. The Royal Society for Public Health in the UK made a 2017 study that summarized the impact on health and well-being issues such as anxiety, depression, self-identity and body image. If you notice a lot of time spent on Instagram, start a conversation about what’s so interesting on there. Your child may not open on the first conversation but may later.

JP

Product evangelist for Boomerang, battling the constant love/hate with tech. I do my best to keep the balance in teaching our kids good tech behaviours. Boomerang is all about applying this and more.

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