Kik 101 – What Parents Should Know

Kik named one of the 8 worst apps for kids by education.com but what is KIK and what makes it so bad for our children?

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On the surface KIK is pretty much harmless. It was built to act like a simple instant messaging service. In a nutshell, KIK is just a texting app. Along with just simple text messages users can also send picture and videos. But there is nothing bad about sending messages to friends, it’s just a part of day to day life. So how did KIK make it on the list as one of the worst apps for kids?

It could be the apps lack of parental control. KIK is designed to be as anonymous as possible, making it hard for parents to check what their children do on the app. KIK easily hides the conversations and messages that people exchange on the app itself. The messages can be deleted with no trace. Once, the messages are gone from the phone they are gone forever. Thus, making it easy for people to get rid of things that they don’t want anyone else to see. It also does not track where the messages come from or filter any of the information that is sent between users. Which means that there is nothing that monitors the app. These facts make it extremely easy for anyone using the app to remain anonymous.  And that’s how KIK got its reputation. As a messaging app, that allows you to keep messages for “your eyes only”.  But then there are other uses for an app like this that rely on the fact that the messages can just simply disappear. For the police KIK is known as a pedophiles tool and for tweens and teens it is a sexting tool.

KIK didn’t receive its reputation for being the tool of pedophiles and sexting tweens and teens by some mistake. Incidence after incidence has given KIK this reputation. Police have reported the app has come up more and more in situations involving pedophilia. This increasing association is why KIK has its reputation.

How does someone target children on KIK?

Anyone who has the username of another person can send the person messages. Kids use other social media such as Instagram and Facebook to share their user name and allow their friends to talk to them on the app. From that point anyone in the world that stumbles onto the user name can send that person a message.  From there the door is open for anyone with any motive to get in contact with them.

KIK may not have parental settings but talking to your children can be an even greater tool. Enabling teens with the tools to make the right decisions can be a larger safeguard than any app settings could ever be. Make sure you talk to your kids and let them know about the dangers of Kik.

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