The police are warning you about these 15 apps you should watch for on your kids’ phones.

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The current young generation is the first to be born in the midst of smartphones, social networks and phone applications of all kinds.

It can be hard to find a balance between the right for kids to communicate and the protection of our young people. Not to mention the screen time, which, according to some experts, can be harmful to the brain.

All of this worries many parents, while others take it with a grain of salt. Most of them think they keep enough eye on the applications used by their children and teens, but in fact, it’s easy to get lost quickly and not see everything on their phones.

But it remains imperative to monitor the applications used by our children, as police in Sarasota, Florida told Fox News! 

While not all of them are dangerous and some can be really useful, the Sarasota police felt there was a need to alert parents about certain apps that they should be aware of.

The list released last year by the sheriff’s office included social media, dating sites, and apps to hide certain content. The police want to prevent exposure to certain unwanted messages as well, including messages of a sexual, advertising or predatory nature.

Here are the 15 apps to watch:

1. Ask.fm

Ask is an interface used to ask questions to users. This application encourages users to create anonymous profiles in order to ask questions of other users. The app is known to foster several cases of bullying and has unfortunately been linked to numerous suicides.

2. Badoo

Badoo is a dating app where everyone can chat and share photos. It uses geolocation to allow one to meet other people nearby. And, even if it is only intended for adults, some minors are using it.

3. Bumble

This app is similar to the well known Tinder. It puts men and women in contact to allow them to make possible meetings. Unlike Tinder, Bumble allows women to take the first contact step. Yes, this app is intended for adults only, but just like all the others – minors are still using it.

4. Calculator +

This application is used to hide content, photos, videos and files, so that they do not appear on one’s history. One easy way to bypass parental control.

5. Grindr

Grindr is a dating app for people in the LGBTQ+ community that also uses the GPS position of smartphones.

6. Holla

This application allows you to chat live on video. It is said to be “addictive” and can expose one to racial slurs and illegal content.

7. Hot or Not

This app allows users to assess others based on their physique and profile, and to chat with strangers. We don’t want that for our young people!

8. Kik

Loved by around 240 million users, this app promotes interaction between everyone, no matter when or where. Unlike other applications where we can choose our “friends”, kik offers an unlimited directory of contacts which can be dangerous for children and adolescents!

9. Live.me

Here is a live streaming video application that uses geolocation to share videos so that other users can know the exact location of the broadcaster.

10. MeetMe

MeetMe is a proximity-based dating network that encourages users to see themselves in the real world.

11. Skout

This online dating site is for adults only, but minors can create and register fake accounts. Like everywhere else…

12. Snapchat

This mega popular app, which has been popular for a few years now, allows the distribution of images and photos with various features (such as the famous animal filters) and content that can disappear after 24 hours. Geolocation can also be shared there.

13. TikTok

Formerly called musical.ly, this mobile app allows you to create and share videos. Its privacy controls are very limited and young users are exposed to bullying and explicit content from others.

14. Whatsapp

This free messaging app allows you to send texts, photos, videos and make calls worldwide. Here again, vigilance is required.

15. Whisper

It’s an anonymous social network encouraging the sharing of secrets with strangers. And then encourage them to meet which can be dangerous. 

Note that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not mentioned in the list. But with these apps too, you have to be careful. In fact, we learned a few months ago that Instagram would be the preferred network of pedophiles! Parents, check all the privacy settings of your children’s apps and talk to them about what to do if there are “shady” things happening!

Here’s what two experts think about apps.

Dr Christophe André, a specialist in psychiatry at Sainte-Anne Hospital in France, is indignant at these technologies. He shared his fears with the Psychologies website, stating that it is essential to remain vigilant with the phones and iPads so that children are not exposed too much in order to avoid what he calls “technostress”.

For his part, the psychiatrist Serge Tisseron, member of the Académie des technologies and author of the popular book 3-6-9-12; Taming the screens and growing up, said in the Figaro that parents must determine essential rules despite what their children want, listening to prevent them from only seeking gratification on the social networks, and checking the time spent on screens. But according to him, it is necessary to preserve the child’s privacy and the trust that exists between parents and kids, by taking care not to abuse parental authority.

Where do you stand on the social media debate? Do you let your children use their cellphones as they please? 

Photo : WTSP
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