Kids and Internet Safety, Part 2

By June 19, 2015Uncategorized

Today my  friend Linda Tomczak continues with part two of her three-part series on keeping kids safe on the Internet.

Internet safety videos for children and teens

Ideally, watch these videos with your kids and discuss Internet use and safety

Ages 5-10

www.netsmartzkids.org/NetSmartzKids

Cartoon characters teach kids how to be safe when using the Internet

Ages 8–12

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgCNGvL0g1g

“Internet Safety – Newsround Caught In The Web”

Well-designed British video designed for kids: shows how easy it is to be tricked by an Internet predator, what to do about bullying, and how addicting gaming can be (not traumatizing)

www.nsteens.org

Videos, quizzes, games, and activities geared toward tweens teach Internet safety and wise practices

Ages 8–17

www.netsmartz.org/TeensTalkBack

Interviews with teens regarding a selection of Internet-related topics

Ages 11–17

www.netsmartz.org/RealLifeStories

Stories depicting wise and unwise choices teens can make when online; good discussion starters

 

Dangerous phone apps for kids

Whisper

Allows users to post secrets anonymously and chat with other users in your geographic area

Anonymity allows predators use it to gain kids’ trust

Predators live near potential victims; makes it easier to lure kids to meet them in person

YikYak

Users are anonymous and don’t create a profile or account, but can post comments that are accessible to the nearest 500 people (within a 1–5 mile radius).

A psychiatrist labeled this the most dangerous app he’d ever seen because it can turn a school into a virtual chat room where everyone can post his or her comments anonymously

Cruel messages can immediately be seen by all users in a specific geographic area

The app allows students to slander teachers, staff, and other students anonymously

Many schools have now banned smart phones from campus because of this app

Kik

Most preferred app by predators

Parents have no record of communication between child and who they’re talking to since it bypasses phone’s SMS texting

Does not require any personal information to set up account, so no way to track predators; they can even create their own phone number

Predators can send kids a friend request

Frequently used for bullying

Users can also send sexually explicit photos, which predators often request

Similar apps: Viber, WhatsApp, TextNow, Textfree

Snapchat

Allows user to take and send images which are supposed to disappear after a brief time

Promotes sexting, as kids think the photos will not remain, but images can be kept by using screen capture

Used by pornographers and predators to solicit images

Images can then be used to blackmail children into sending more images

Similar apps: Poke, Wire, Wickr

Vine

Allows users to watch and post six-second videos; not all videos posted are dangerous, but porn videos are included and can be searched for

Exposes teens and kids to pornography and allows them to view and send inappropriate videos

Pedophiles viewing posted videos try to connect with children/teens posting them, since videos may contain items that reveal a child’s location, or contain embedded location data

Tinder

Users post pictures and scroll through the images of other users. When they think someone is attractive they can “flag” the image. If that person has also “flagged” them in return, the app allows you to contact them.

Primarily used for hooking up

Similar apps: Skout, Pure, Blendr, Down (formerly Bang with Friends, a Facebook app), Meetme (18+, but no age verification so kids who bypass and download app will receive explicit images and content from adults)

ChatRoulette and Omegle

Allows users to video chat with strangers

Savvy users can bypass the usercam feature and chat using a fake image

Like all chat-type apps, allows children to develop a trusting relationship with a total stranger

Adult site; must be 18 or over but no way of verifying age

Kids are certain to be sent sexually explicit images

Poof

Hides other apps on your phone

Select which apps you wish to hide and their icons will no longer show up on your smartphone screen

If children have apps that they want to keep hidden from their parents, all they have to do is download this app and “poof,” their screen is clear of any questionable apps

If you see the Poof app on your child’s phone, you may want to ask them what they are hiding

Instagram

All photos are set to public viewing

Allows geotagging, so predators can locate those who post images

One teen was sex trafficked for over a year by someone who contacted her after she posted images on Instagram

Spycalc

Vault to conceal photos, so kids can take and retain sexually explicit images and hide from parents

9gag

Funny posts, but not moderated so contains explicit content, references to drug use, objectionable material

 

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