Taking a little break from all the blog posts about real estate and posting about another topic that is important to Orson Hill Realty. Orson Hill is a very high tech company. Founded by a guy that has been a tech geek before it was cool or even profitable to be a tech geek. Danny has always had all the cool gadgets from his first computer that was a Commodore Vic20. He has brought this tech knowledge into every business he has owned. That is why we feel comfortable addressing another part of technology.
We are a family owned and operated real estate company. Our brokers are just like you. Our owner/broker has 3 kids himself. All at the age of just getting into technology. If your children are anything like all of ours, your children’s phone and tablets are with them pretty much 24/7. This is a good thing for the most part. We won’t discuss the need for unplugging and getting outside and running in this post. That is a topic for another day. This is strictly about what is on your children’s phone and laptop right now.
It isn’t just the “old man” in me that constantly thinks “things have really changed since I was a kid”. This is a very true statement. My parents always told me “don’t talk to strangers”. Now here we are putting apps on our kid’s phones that allow them to message and be messaged by anyone at anytime. This is something that should scare any of us. Even the best child locks and parental controls can be bypassed by a tech savvy child. My 11 year old showed me how he could get passed his mom’s need to approve the download of an app from itunes. It was a bit scary and a bit funny at the same time. He was getting tired of her taking so long to approve his apps so he figured it out. Took him all but 20 minutes to find a work around. I won’t tell you how to do but any kid with the knowledge and the will can do this. To be honest the tech geek in me was very impressed but the dad in me was terrified.
Of course as the kids get older online safety is less of a concern, although even adults should be concerned about online safety, the concerns shift to different concerns like online fraud and identity theft. For the moment we are just talking about “stranger danger” and our children. Now some of these apps do serve their purpose in society and aren’t just for predictors to meet your children. For a while me and my oldest had snapchat because he became aware his mother was reading his text to me. So he suggested snapchat so we can have candid father/son discussions. Of course nothing crazy but boys talk differently to their fathers than they do their mothers. After a while I got concerned about safety and had him remove it.
Below is a list of apps that you may want to have your children remove from their phones or at least monitor them well. Again just because your child has these apps it doesn’t mean they are meeting strangers in an alley after you go to sleep at night. It just increases their odds of danger. That is kind of what it is about these is risk management. Keep your children safe and monitor their online activity as best you can.
What Apps Should Kids Not Have On Their Phones?
The list of apps here are not necessarily good or bad. They have just been proven to be used by predators and children that are hiding something from their parents. Again age is a big thing here. Also some families use WhatsApp and other messaging apps because they have great group chat capabilities for the entire family. Just be smart and vigilant as mentioned above there is no way to completely stop your child from using these apps. The kids are always one step ahead of technology. They always find a way like using a VPN on the school network to access Youtube. We are teaching our kids technology and they are learning fast. We should actually be proud of them for finding work arounds and their brains to beat us at our game.
- The first is ‘MeetMe,’ an app where teens can easily be in contact with users much older than them, with an emphasis on dating.
- ‘WhatsApp’ and ‘SnapChat’ are for messaging, but what you should know is teens can send unlimited messages, have video chats and even share their live location with other users, people they may not even know.
- ‘Skout’ is a flirting app that’s used to meet and chat with new people. Teens and adults are in different groups, but ages aren’t verified.
- ‘TikTok’ is used for sharing user created videos that can contain bad words, even adult content.
- ‘Badoo’ and ‘Bumble’ are dating apps for adults, but teens can still find ways to join.
- ‘Grindr’ is geared towards the LGBTQ community. It allows users to share photos and meet up based on phone’s GPS location.
- ‘Kik’ is specifically for kids, but anyone can join and anyone can contact or direct message your child.
- ‘LiveMe’ is a live streaming app, but you don’t know who’s watching and your kids location is revealed.
- ‘Holla’ is all about connecting strangers around the world through video chat. Enough said.
- ‘Whisper’ is a social confessional where kids can remain anonymous, but still share their feelings. And it can reveal your child’s location for a meet up.
- ‘ASKfm’ encourages people to allow anonymous users to ask them questions, which opens the door for online bullying.
- ‘Hot or Not’ rates users on attractiveness.. There’s no age verification and users can send each other messages.
- And lastly, ‘Calculator%’ apps are several secret apps that allows kids to hide their photos, videos, even browser history.