Facebook, Instagram and Tinder, are all good — but beware WhatsApp, TikTok, Snapchat and Grindr, according to the Sheriff.
Florida police are warning parents about a list of apps which they claim can be used by predators to target children.
Pasco Sheriff’s office published the list of “15 apps parents should know about”, claiming how some of them can facilitate bullying, racism, and even pedophilia.
The list includes communication apps like WhatsApp and Kik, hook-up apps like Grindr and Bumble, video-sharing apps such as TikTok and LiveMe, and apps that secretly hide files on phones, like Calculator%.
“It’s important to know what your kids are doing online and we want to help keep parents informed!” the Sheriff warned. “Our School Resources Officers put together a list of 15 apps parents should know about!”
The Florida authority warned parents to be even more vigilant amid the coronavirus pandemic, as children are forced to spend even more time online socializing and distance learning.
You can read the full list — and description — of apps provided by the local authority below:
MeetMe is a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. As the app’s name suggests, users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, make calls and video chats worldwide. WhatsApp uses an internet connection on smart phones and computers.
Bumble is similar to the popular dating app Tinder, however it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
LiveMe is a live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn “coins” as a way to “pay” minors for photos.
Ask.fm is known for cyber bullying. The app encourages users to allows anonymous people to ask them questions.
Grindr is a dating app geared toward LGBTQ+ people. The app gives users options to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone’s GPS location.
TikTok is a new mobile device app popular with kids used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyber bullying and explicit content.
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps in recent years. While the app promises users can send a photo/video and it will disappear, new features including “stories” allows users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
Holla is a self-proclaimed “addicting” video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content, and more.
Calculator% is one of SEVERAL secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history.
Skout is a location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 years old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account using a different age.
Badoo is a dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos and connect based on location. The app is intended for adults only, teens are known to create profiles.
Kik allows anyone to contact and direct message your child. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Whisper is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
Hot or Not encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area, and chat with strangers. The goal of this app is to hook up.