What is Kik? What parents need to know

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What is Kik

What is Kik? Is it Safe for Kids? – Safety Tips to Ensure Your Child’s Safety

With the controversies going around Kik, you’ve probably heard of this messaging app in viral scandals or news.

Lately, many parents have expressed their concern over this app’s safety and have been calling it a problematic app that exposes dangers to kids and teenagers alike.

So, as a parent, if you think your child is also spending considerate time on this app, you must read this blog and educate yourself about the looming dangers of this app. Here, I’ve listed everything you need to know to keep your kids safe, so let’s jump straight in!

What is Kik?

Kik is a Canadian-based instant messaging app that allows you to text via chat or video and share content with friends. It is an iOS and Android-based app that allows users to connect with friends worldwide through messaging, chatting, and live-streaming.

The popularity of the app has been steadily growing over the past, and it has gained over 300 million registered users worldwide, where 70% of users range between 13-24.

At first glance, this app might seem like other social media apps; however, the unique features like anonymous chatting, live-streaming, and the ability to access internal apps set it apart from others and worryingly entice online predators.

How Does Kik Work?

To get started with Kik, you would have to first install the app on your device. After accessing the app, just log in using your date of birth and a valid email address. After you have signed in, you can invite your friends from other social media platforms and start chatting.

You can also create public or private groups for chatting, or, if desired, search for the pre-made groups on the app.

There are also some internal apps available on the app, like meme generators, games, and some dating apps to meet like-minded strangers online. Not only that, there’s also a bot shop where you can take quizzes, play games, and indulge in various engaging activities.

What is the Age Requirement for Using Kik?

Based on the app’s privacy policy, the minimum age to get started with Kik is 13 years old or older. But, according to the Google Play Store, the age rating is 12+, and according to the Apple Store, the age rating is 17 years.

However, as Kik doesn’t have an age verification process, users (especially kids) are free to lie about their age. The predators online also know this fact and purposely roam around the app to target unsuspecting children.

Is Kik Safe for Kids?

No, Kik is not safe for kids! If you combine the anonymous nature of the app, a dating app, and the other troubling features, this is the worst app for kids.

This app has been the center of many controversies for exposing little kids to various forms of online dangers, like child grooming, cyberbullying, child pornography, and murder.

Not only that, it’s also infamous for exposing young children to some of the most disturbing content on the internet.

Based on my personal experience with the app, I recommend that kids below 13 or under abstain from using the app at any cost.

Why Kik is a Matter of Concern for Parents?

Kik is one of the least safe messaging apps on the internet, and I’ve listed some reasons to back up this statement. So, let’s take a look at that!

  • Anonymous Chatting

This suspicious app doesn’t require any valid phone number or a name to get started, which is often used as a shield by sexual offenders. Moreover, on private chats, anyone can send messages to your child, be it explicit content or obscene imagery.

  • Dating App

Worryingly, Kik has two internal dating apps, Match & Chat and Flirt!, which are similar to Tinder and allow users to look for potential matches online. Not only that, the other party is completely anonymous, so you don’t know if the person on the other side is a peer or a sexual offender.

  • No Parental Controls

In the name of parental controls, this platform only allows users to block or report the user.

  • Explicit Content

This messaging app has an in-built live-streaming option, where people go live to interact with people. The concerning part is that these videos are mostly explicit, obscene, and not suitable for kids.

  • The Target User Market is Teens

Most of Kik’s user base consists of teens, which is alarming, as the rest of the user base is taken by sexual offenders and predators.

Effective Tips to Ensure Your Child’s Safety on Kik

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the horrors this app poses to little children, the next thing you need to do is ensure your child’s safety while using the messaging app. Here I’ve listed some tips to help you:

  1. Set a Strong Password

If your kids want to use this app for mere messaging purposes, then provide them with the right supervision and help them create a strong password to keep them away from the criminal’s eyes.

  1. Put Necessary Restrictions

For more supervision, you can limit the in-app purchases and manage screen time.

  1. Block Suspicious Users

Teach your kids how to report or block suspicious users in case they encounter a creepy stranger while chatting.

  1. Install the Parental Control App

If you think the restrictions are not enough to secure your child, install a parental control app on your kid’s device.

  1. Educate Your Child

Discuss the potential dangers of chatting anonymously and sharing personal information with strangers online with your child. Also, teach them the effective measures to take when they come across any danger.

Wrapping Up!

With no security controls in place, Kik is the least safe messaging app on the internet. These critical safety flaws in the app expose your kids to various online threats, predation being one of them.

So, if your kid plans on using this infamous messaging app, follow the tips I’ve mentioned earlier to make sure your child is safe and sound.

Source Links: https://radarro.com/

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