Five smartphone apps parents should watch out for

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After the sexting scandal last November in Canon City, many parents are now aware of the app Photo Vault and how it can be used. But there’s other apps parents should watch out for. Here are five making lists across the nation.

1. Snapchat
Sometimes people have to learn the hard way that apps don’t always do what they promise. Snapchat says videos, pictures and texts that are sent disappear after a certain amount of time, making it seem safe to send inappropriate images or texts. The truth is nothing sent over the internet truly disappears.

2. Kik Messenger
A similar app, Kik Messenger, allows texts and pictures to be sent without them being logged into the phone history. The app has over 100 million users and according to police is another app commonly used for sexting. There are no parental controls and no way of authenticating users, making it an easy way for sexual predators to interact with minors.

3. Whisper
Whisper allows you to post secrets anonymously and to chat with other users in your geographic area. According to Intel Security, this app is dangerous because children are drawn to communicating with strangers and it’s packed with cruelty, cyber-bullying, racism and vulgarity.

4. Yik Yak
Cruelty, cyber-bullying, racism and vulgarity are all things that can be found on another anonymous app Yik Yak, which allows users to post comments that are accessible to the nearest 500 people, within a one to five mile radius. Especially popular on college campuses, this app has been known to cause trouble and according to the New York Post some campuses have even set up geo-fences blocking the app on school property.

5. AskFM
This app features no monitoring of the content, no privacy controls and the ability to be completely anonymous, leaving kids feeling as if they can get away with just about anything.

Remember just because these apps don’t appear to be on a phone doesn’t mean they aren’t there. There are also apps that hide other apps like Poof, Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.

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