Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Parents: Watch Out for These 5 Types of Apps

We live in a 21st century digital world. That means that parents need to watch out for what their kids are doing, digitally. The apps of today have taken technology a step further towards the danger zone.

Below is a list of five types of apps that could actually be really dangerous to kids, and even adults. However, for parents, there is an added layer of difficulty, and this comes from "Vault" apps. Vault apps are designed to hide other apps, photos, videos, and other content, that a phone's owner might want to keep hidden from others.

1. The Blue Whale Challenge

The Blue Whale Challenge is an app that, according to Snopes, may or may not be a real threat. But based on the scariness level, it tops the list here. Essentially, once a user downloads the game, it hacks the user's personal info and essentially extorts the user into completing 50 various self-harm tasks, ending with suicide. The game allegedly comes from Russia, however, there are doubts as to the credibility of many reports.

2. Tinder and Other Dating Apps

Dating in high school has changed quite a bit since dating apps and online dating have popped onto the scene. If your kid is using any of the dating apps out there, you might want to rethink letting them leave the house, ever. While you may be confident in your child dating when they reach a certain age, allowing them to use online dating apps is simply inviting danger, especially if adults are using the same app.

3. Pokemon Go and Location Based Games

The Pokemon Go craze may be subsiding, but the danger of location based games is very real. If a child is too engrossed in their screen to look up, and a game is asking them to complete tasks by walking around, they could find themselves crossing a major highway during rush-hour.

4. Photo Video Messaging Apps

With all the sexting and cyberbullying that gets reported in the mainstream media, parents need to carefully consider which photo video messaging apps they allow their kids to use. Additionally, monitoring their use may also be a good idea if you suspect your kid is being bullied, or maybe is the one doing the bullying. Additionally, 'sexting' is still rather popular among teens, and can result in serious charges, including child pornography charges for both senders and recipients.

5. In-App Purchases

As a parent, being able to feed your kids, and put a roof over their head, is important. If you allow your children to use apps that contain in-app purchases, such as game credits, or additional features, you could end up with a massive bill. Using parental controls can help ensure you don't have to decide between paying for essentials and paying for digital game currency.

Related Resources: