Kids will be kids, it’s not easy being a parent in a highly tech-heavy modern world. For most kids, the apps they use are an extension of their real world. Many of them know that sometimes their parents are a few steps behind when it comes to understanding the latest apps they are using. This gives them free reign to conceal certain interactions they are having with other people in the cyber world. The more you know about apps that kids are using to communicate these days, the better equipped you will be to deal with issues like cyberbullying, older strangers taking advantage of these apps to lure kids as well as scammers who look for vulnerable users online.
1. Finsta (Finstagram)
Instagram has over 800 million users worldwide so it is not surprising that your kids are using it. Finstagram (Finsta) on the other hand is a fake (or second) Instagram account that students, usually girls, use. Instagram allows users to have multiple accounts, so when people refer to their Rinsta profiles, they usually are talking about their “real” accounts. They use Finsta profiles to post “silly” images, videos etc outside of their real Instagram profiles. They use the messaging service and stories to communicate with each other and hide certain content from their parents.
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps that kids and teenagers use. It allows users to post snaps and messages that disappear in seconds and stories that disappear after 24 hours. This is the perfect app for teens to communicate with each other as well as strangers without their parents finding out.
The Calculator% app icon looks like a calculator on anyone’s phone so parents would never suspect that it’s actually a secret photo vault. When you open the app it looks like a calculator but only the person that knows the passcode can access the secret pictures and videos. Apple has removed the app and banned it from its App Store.
4. Burn Book
When it comes to serious issues like cyberbullying, parents can never be too prepared. Burn Book is one of those dangerous apps that teens are using where people post anonymous rumours about others using pictures, videos and/or screengrabs of messages and texts. It advertises itself as keeping people “in the know” but has been flagged as a cyberbullying tool.
This messaging app has built-in apps and web content that would normally be filtered on the home computer. It allows users to choose who to chat with one-on-one and in groups. It also allows users to share pics, videos, gifs, games, and meet new people with similar interests. Like any other messaging app, it allows kids to chat with strangers and arrange to meet with them without the parent’s knowledge.