Are The Apps On Your Child's Phone SAFE?
We live in a technological world, where children can access any information with the click of a button. Sometimes it feels impossible to micro-manage every little app your child downloads.
Below is a list of some popular apps- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here is what you need to know!
1. Audio Manager
Sounds harmless, right? This app is completely UNRELATED to music, volume, videos, voice notes, etc. The purpose of this app is to HIDE the apps they don’t want you to know they are using.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, such horrible things do exist. Kids can hide any app they don’t want you to see. When you press and hold the “Audio Manager” app, a lock screen is revealed. Behind this, users can hide messages, photos, videos, and other apps.
Similar to Audio Manager, this app will store photos and videos away from parents spying eyes. Additionally, it will also snap a photo of anyone who tries to access the “vault”! If your child has this app, one thing is for sure, they are hiding something from you.
Whisper is a confession app, and totally anonymous. It allows the users to text pictures and thoughts and feelings anonymously, but displays those messages in the area that you are posting from. You can even search for users posting things within a mile of you.
Because of this anonymity, kids are posting pictures of their peers with derogatory or rude language- it’s a recipe for cyber-bullying. The worst part is that users don’t have to register to use Whisper, but can still use the app to communicate with other users nearby through their GPS. You can see online relationships forming on the app, but will never know the person behind the screen.
On a less negative note, safe and fun apps DO EXIST! You just need to do your research. So if you’re reading this, you’re on the right track.
1. Our Pact
This is an app parents can download on their devices and their children’s devices. The app will pair the devices and allow you to control things like app usage and screen time. In my experience, it’s the least invasive app that allows you to be less in the dark about what your child is doing on their phone.
2. Finding Home- A Refugee’s Journey (recommended for children 13 years and older)
In short, this app allows the user to follow the story of a 16-year old refugee who is forced to flee Malaysia with her brother. All she has is this phone.
This app is educational, and makes an important story accessible and engaging. It allows the user to walk in the refugee’s shoes, and raises awareness and empathy about the struggle of refugees.
The app creates a simulated OS that literally takes over your phone. It’s quite something.
3. Words With Friends
This is a simple world-building scrabble-like game that you can use with friends. You can connect with your friends, chat, AND it’s educational!
The only catch is you need a Facebook account or an account with Words With Friends. It’s also important to ensure your child is ‘connecting’ with their actual friends, and not strangers in the surrounding area.
And last but not least…