A few months ago, Florida authorities arrested 25 men on charges of exploiting children to provide adult sexual services. In most cases, the perpetrators used social networking apps to reach teenage boys and girls.
Following the arrest of the perpetrators, authorities published a list of social networking applications that are dangerous for children and adolescents.
“Unfortunately, the internet allows for easy and anonymous access to children by strangers hiding behind a computer screen. We must act to ensure that our most vulnerable population is safe and protected, “said Sheriff Tom Knight.
According to Knight, the perpetrators attempted to establish a relationship of trust with the teenagers in order to exploit them sexually.
Authorities are advising parents to check their children ‘s phones and other devices.
The list of potentially dangerous applications includes well-known companies, such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, but also other lesser-known ones, such as a calculator, that allow users to hide photos, videos and browser history.
The most dangerous applications that teenagers use are:
Ask.fm: This is a site that allows other users to ask different questions. According to some, it is often used for cyberbullying.
Badoo: It is a well-known dating app that allows chat and sending photos and videos between users. The app is intended for adults, but it is also used by children and adolescents.
Bumble: Similar to the Tinder app. Researchers have found that the app is also used by teenagers who use fake names and ages.
Calculator%: This is a secret application that allows users to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history.
Grindr: It is a dating app aimed at gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Users can chat and share photos and videos. They can also use GPS to track users near them.
Holla: Through this app, users can reach people around the world via video. However, some users have reported that they have received racist comments and have been harassed in various ways.
Hot or Not: Another dating app that helps users find people near their area.
Kik: A messaging application is known for keeping its users anonymous. In recent years, it has been used by 40% of American adolescents.
LiveMe: This is a live streaming video application. The application uses a virtual currency called “coins”, which can be used to “pay” minors to send photos.
MeetMe: Another dating app, based on geographical proximity. In fact, the app encourages users to get up close.
Skout: Dating application where users under the age of 17 cannot share photos. However, adolescents and children have found ways to overcome this obstacle.
Snapchat: One of the most popular applications that allow sharing photos and videos but promises to delete them immediately. The geographical location of the users is also known.
TikTok: An application that allows you to create and share short videos. Users can view inappropriate content.
WhatsApp: This app has the same functions as a phone. Users can make calls, send messages to share photos and videos with people around the world.
Whisper: This is an application that allows users to share secrets with strangers. It maintains the anonymity of users. Like many other applications, it shares user location information.
The above social networking applications are often used by teenagers. However, most of them can also be used by adults who want to exploit children for evil purposes. Parents should be very careful and monitor their children’s devices and the applications they use.