How young is “too young” to own a smartphone? It is a question many parents have to ask themselves nowadays, as the rise of mobile media is slowly getting out of hand – for some, at least. And though many dangers lurk, especially for young and unexperienced users, over 80% of children own a mobile phone and have multiple social network accounts. On the blog, we’re going to have a look at the growing risks of relevant and upcoming apps that contribute to dangerous behavior on children’s phones today.
Unfortunately, cyberbullying is a dark reality of teenager’s everyday lives. Victims are mostly girls, especially multiracial females and people with disabilities and mental disorders – and they are mostly 13-15 years old. Even though they are for the most part responsible of looking over this behavior, only 15% of parents know about their kids’ social networking habits and how these can lead to cyberbullying.
Whispers, ask.fm, Tellonym
These apps allow communication through a question and answer format – anonymously. This allows a large possibility for anonymous threats, with Tellonym even calling itself “the most honest place on the internet”. These apps have already caused a lot of harm, with bullies taking advantage of the anonymous aspect.
TikTok – we’ve recently written a blog-post on the topic – is an app for creating and sharing short videos, with an official age restriction of 13 years, which is very easy to work around. With 800 million users, this is a large platform for inappropriate content or language. Every account is automatically set to public, which means that strangers can text each other easily.
Kik on the other hand is a messaging-app with a face-to-face feel, using intimate and interactive features. The app is rated 17+ but has no actual age restriction and reviews in App Stores show that the app is used to text strangers for sexting, as it is not connected to a phone number.
Lastly, Houseparty is an app where friends can communicate with each other through live video and texts in chat groups. This means that it is very easy to get connected to strangers or groups you (or your kid) don’t know.
So, dear parents, keep an eye out on what your kids are doing – or think about if they need a (smart-)phone with all its capabilities and features at such a young age. And although Apple and other companies offer mobile device management features, they have been loosened in the past and don’t do much now. This is why IOTIQ is the best contact for you - we offer solutions that are individually customizable and will always suit you and your child’s needs the best. Contact us now for a consultation on your future mobile device management.
Do you want more information about cyberbullying? Visit our partner's website to check the latest data and statistics for 2020.
What do you have to consider when using apps?