Kik sexting problem for parents: more than a messaging app
sexting problems in Kik
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In today’s world, there are lots of messaging applications available for use, and Kik is one of them. Kik is an anonymous mobile messaging app for instant messaging. It uses a Wi-Fi connection or data plan to send and receive messages from other people using it. Kik makes it easier for users to keep in touch with their family and friends. However, caution should be taken if your child has a Kik account.
Why? There are some potential risks involved in using the app, and these include Kik sexting. For the safety of your kids and to avoid the problems associated with Kik use for teens, read on to be well informed.
Is Kik Really Anonymous?
Kik is one of the messaging applications known to preserve the anonymity of users. You can register an account by using false information. Also, you don’t need to register or provide your telephone number. It means other users will only identify you by your username.
Note that the company can know your location because the Kik app logs the IP addresses of users. No doubt, most users like the anonymity and privacy that the app provides. However, it has led to some rash local news stories of murder, sexual predators, and cyberbullying. It has also led to bad behaviors like Kik sexting among kids.
Why Teen Sexting on Kik?
- One-on-one chatting
This is a common feature that every messaging app has, and Kik is not left out. The one-on-one chatting feature allows you to chat with a friend or another user privately. Only you and the recipient will know about your conversation. If a kid starts using the app, he or she may tend to practice Kik sexting. This can be by exchanging sexually suggestive photos or videos with another Kik user. Remember, most kids are smart. They will delete the conversation, and you may not know.
- Group chat
Group conversation on Kik comes with some benefits. It includes making planning easier among friends and family and helping you to stay connected to everyone, no matter their location. On Kik, you can join either public or private group chat with a maximum of 50 participants in each group. Teens may take advantage of group conversations to start Kik sexting each other.
- Free video chat and Multimedia Messaging
With the free video chat, you can have a real-time video chat with friends. Also, the multimedia messaging feature ensures that you can send more than text messages. You can also send videos, photos, gifs, and more. Unfortunately, kids can leverage on the free video chat feature and use it for Kik sexting.
- Internal apps
Kik encourages users to remain within its app by offering some internal apps such as games, meme generators, and sticker apps. It also provides dating style apps such as Flirt!, and Match & Chat. These dating style apps may raise some sorts of concern to parents because users can chat with other users no matter their age. Also, users can pretend to be someone else by giving a false age. If care is not taken, it can lead to Kik sexting.
Now that you have known the main features of Kik and how some of them can encourage sexting, what do you think are the opinion of parents about the app?
Negative Reviews from the Internet about Kik Texting
- Cyber Safety Lady said – “A Dangerous App for children and teens. I work with the police, here in Australia on Cyber Safety education we are seeing increased incidents of children being sent porn by predators on this app.”
- hockeymomuv2 said – “This app is dangerous, especially if you use it on an android. Some pedophiles sent my 16-year-old son child porn to scare and harass him into sending pictures of himself back.”
- vigilant_dad said, – “Dangerous app. Don’t be fooled by the innocent-sounding name. This app is a prime vehicle for sexual predators to locate targets. Within hours of installing this app on his phone, my child was receiving random explicit invitations for photo sharing.”
Is Teen Sexting On Kik Safe?
According to a 2018 report by the BBC, in the UK alone, Kik featured in over 1000 cases of child sex abuse. This is crazy! The app has been the bane of law enforcement officials for the past couple of years. With the various reports on the internet and news about the dangerous and unfortunate events that have occurred through the use of the messenger app, no doubt teen sexting on Kik is not safe. Below are some of the reasons why the app is so bad for kids:
- Exposes kids to child predators - According to an investigative report posted on The Verge, Kik messenger app has become the de facto app child predators use to groom children online. Want to know the worse part? The number of instances where predators have arranged meetings with minors is becoming an increasing concern.
- Cyberbullying – It is no new news that some people use social media apps to bully other users. Does Rebecca Ann Sedwick ring a bell? She received hateful messages from another user, and the 12-year old jumped to her death. Any child can fall victim to cyberbullying on Kik, and if it continues, it can hurt the kid and even lead to suicidal thoughts.
- Sharing inappropriate content – Kik messenger app can expose your kids to Kik sexting and inappropriate content that can make them feel confused and also behave strangely. The inappropriate content can be pornographic images and videos and swearing. It can also be images or videos encouraging suicide, crime, violence, vandalism, and much more.
How to Make Sure Your Child is Safe on Kik?
Monitoring who your kids talk to on the app and preventing them from Kik sexting will help keep them safe while using the messaging app. Below are some easy ways to do that:
- Block dangerous users by using the app itself
If there is someone you don’t want your kid to talk to, you can block them on Kik. You can do this by tapping the settings icon, select chat settings, and then tap the block list. Here you can add the contact you want your kid to stop talking to and block them.
- Report users
Kik encourages a user to report a case of abuse or any other offensive message. So, if you notice any user Kik sexting your child, you can report that person.
- Use a parental control app like FamiSafe
This is no doubt the most reliable parental control app that can help your kids use Kik safely. The app can help you keep track of your children’s activities on the Kik messenger app 24/7. Want to know the best part? It is not limited to Kik alone. FemiSafe can also monitor activities on other apps and websites your kids are using. Some of its reliable features include location tracking and geofencing, screen time monitoring, app usage monitoring, and web content monitoring.
- App block & Usage – this feature ensures that you block the Kik app if you don’t want the kid to use it again. Also, you can use it to set a time limit for the chat app and other apps. With this, the app will be blocked when the time limit is reached.
- Activity report – this feature allows parents to know the daily app activity. This includes the apps used and how much time your kid spends using them. It also helps you know the apps that are newly installed or deleted.
- Explicit content detection – with this feature, you can get instant alerts when your kid receives suspicious texts or other explicit content with risky keywords.
No doubt, Kik messaging app is one of many chat apps in the online world where kids are subject to harmful activities. This makes it is more than a messaging app. Kids can involve in Kik sexting (sending pornographic content), catfishing, cyberbullying, and other unpleasant activities. As a parent who is worried about your child’s safety, using a parental monitoring tool like FamiSafe is the only way to truly protect your kid.