Child predators were one of the first groups to embrace technology and exploit for their own twisted pleasure and as a result of that, there are many apps on the app store that your child may have that could potentially paint a target on their back for child predators. Most of these apps fit into specific categories that are listed here:
Anonymous messengers are popular among teenagers because they allow people to send their honest opinions of you without fear of their identity being revealed. These apps are also well known for cyberbullying and sexual exploitation. Apps under this category include YOLO, Lipsi, Whisper, and Ask.FM.
Grindr, Tinder, and Bumble are three dating apps designed for adults, with Grindr being specifically for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite the fact that the apps have an age limit of eighteen, it is relatively easy to get past that barrier. Similar apps to be aware of are Badoo, Monkey, HILY, Plenty of Fish, and Hot or Not. These apps can be especially dangerous because they register the phone’s location to find local users, which could allow predators to find your child’s school or address.
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Random Video Chatters
Random video chatters are a category of apps that allow users to be randomly matched with people around the world and video chat with them. It originated as a fun way to make new friends but quickly become a breeding ground for racism and sexually perverted behavior. Random video chatters include Omegle, Zoosk, and Holla.
Live Streaming Apps
These apps allow users to record themselves live and strangers can watch. Live streaming apps can be relatively innocent if used responsibly, but in the hands of child predators, they can be used to exploit children fairly easily. Most of these apps use a virtual currency system that predators can send to children in exchange for explicit videos or photos. Apps in this category include Live.Me and Twitch. These are probably the safest apps on the list, but children do need to be educated and warned before using them, so they know the potential dangers.
The most dangerous and harmful apps on the list, hidden apps are labeled as something innocent on the app store, for example, one of the most popular of these apps is Calculator+, which claims to be a simple calculator, but in reality is used by children and teenagers to hide explicit photos, pornography, and inappropriate files from tech-savvy parents. Another popular app used for this purpose is BestSecretFolder. What makes these apps so insidious is the fact that they allow children to hide their dangerous activity in plain sight, with parents none the wiser.
Hopefully, learning about some of these apps and their uses will help parents and school administrators prevent illegal activity and child exploitation on the internet in the future.
Let’s take a real-world look into these apps. You’ll notice the Calculator has some “amazing” features that you need to be VERY aware of.
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