Dangerous Apps 2015
Today’s youth are known for what apps they use. More apps are created and geared toward our youth and are used by them more than ever before. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber, Whisper are just a few from a massive running list of apps freely available on their iPhones and Android.
Teens love fresh and new, so when a new app or social media site pops up, it can be tempting for tween and teen to hop on over and start sharing. And adults can often get left behind. Things change so quickly it’s hard to keep track of what each app or social media site does. Many of these apps have fun and positive uses. But used incorrectly, they can lead to some scary consequences. Cyberbullying is now a huge issue for many teens. According to a recent study, 43 percent of teens feel cyberbullying is a bigger problem for young people than drugs (Vodafone, 2015). Kids and youth base their self-worth off of how many likes or shares or thumbs up they get on their posts. Predators target young people online daily.
According to Educate Empower Kids a few of last year’s dangerous apps were Tinder, Whisper and Snapchat. This year, they compiled a list of Dangerous Apps 2015. Below are a few apps from their running list:
Burn Note – This is a messaging app where all messages self-destruct (delete) after reading. This app only uses text messaging. Users cannot send images or videos. Parents would have no evidence that a conversation took place. This can lead to bullying or sexting or any other dangerous practice, and parents would have no idea.
After School – The description for this app in the app store says it is an anonymous and private message board for your school. This app originally launched in late 2014. But after reports of threats of school shootings on the app, it was taken down. (Burns, 2014) It was rereleased a couple of months ago with new safety features in place. (Burns, 2015) However, we are still concerned about this app since users can still post anonymously, although there is now an option to post under your real name.
Best Secret Folder – This is an iOS app that allows users to store photos secretly. The app icon is called “My Utilities” so others don’t even realize the app is on the phone.
Periscope – Similar to Meerkat. Periscope was just released this year, but users are already reporting sexual assault and bullying. (Tempesta, 2015)
KYMS (Keep Your Media Safe) – This iOS and Android app hides all media including photos, videos, texts, documents, and PDFs. It is disguised as a calculator app.
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