Calculator%, Tiktok has been reported among 15 apps that can be used to target minors, according to sheriff’s office
SARASOTA, Fla. (WAFB) – In 2018, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida made national headlines after publishing a list of nine apps predators could manipulate to solicit children to commit sex acts. The Sheriff’s Office released an updated list on July 26, 2019.
- Meet me: Meetme is a social dating network app that allows users to connect with people based on their geographic proximity. Users of the app are encouraged to meet in person.
- Grindr: Grindr is a dating app for gay, bi, and transgender people. It offers users options to chat, share photos and meet on the basis of a smart phone’s GPS.
- Skout: Skout is a location based dating app. While users under the age of 17 cannot share private photos, children can easily create an account at an older age.
- WhatsApp : Whatsapp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voice messages, as well as make calls and video chats.
- TIC Tac: Tiktok is a new app popular with kids which is used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyberbullying and explicit content.
- Badou: Badoo is a dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos based on location. The app is intended for adults only, but teens are known to create profiles.
- Bumblebee: Bumble is similar to the popular dating app, Tinder, however, women need to make first contact. Children are known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and fake their age.
- Snapchat: Snapchat is one of the most popular apps of 2018. While the app promises that users can send a photo or video and it will be gone, recent features allow users to view content for up to 24 hours. . Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
- Kik: Kik allows anyone to contact and send a direct message to your child, sometimes anonymously. Kids sometimes use Kik to bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
- LiveMe: Live.me is a live video app that uses geolocation to share videos so that users can know the exact location of a broadcaster. Users can earn coins in the app and use them as a way to pay minors for photos.
- Holla: Holla is a self-proclaimed “addictive” video chat application that allows users to meet people from all over the world in just seconds. Critics say they have faced racial slurs, explicit content, etc.
- Whisper: Whisper is an anonymous social network that promotes the sharing of secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet.
- Ask.fm: Ask.fm has become known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow people to ask them questions anonymously.
- Calculator%: Calculator% is one of the many secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history.
- Hot or not: Hot or Not encourages users to rate the profiles of other users, with an emphasis on physical appearance. It also allows users to check people in their area and chat with strangers. The sheriff says the purpose of this app is to “connect”.
In an effort to combat the potentially devastating impacts of children using these apps regardless of the possible threat they pose, the Gretna Police Department has assembled advice from experts and government agencies to which relatives and friends can refer when chatting with construction miners and maintain safe internet and social media habits.
1.) Ask what the child sees online and how they feel. Talk about any concerns they have about their own online activity, the activity of others, or the content they have seen on the internet
2.) Set filters and other protection measures on phones, computers and tablets to help filter incoming and outgoing content
3.) Limit screen hours in general. Studies show screen time can lead to higher rates of obesity and emotional problems in children
4.) Be a good role model. Maintain healthy social media and internet habits yourself
5.) Remind children that anything done online may be available to others
6.) Set social media and app privacy settings to the strictest possible level on devices young children use
7.) Keep personal computers in a central location in your home where it can be easily determined if they have been in use
8.) Review and approve apps downloaded to smartphones and monitor activity on these devices
9.) Make sure an adult is present and engaged when children communicate via webcam
10.) Go through the “friends” and “followers” lists regularly and delete anyone the child has not met in person.
Additionally, parents are encouraged to attend classes where children can interact directly with law enforcement and ask any questions they may have. An example of such a class is the Good and Bad of Social Media event hosted by the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s office assistants have educated incoming freshmen at Assumption parish schools about the benefits and dangers of social media using cases they are directly involved in. Contact local law enforcement to request a similar course.
Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.