Police Warn Parents About Kik Messenger
Kik, an instant messaging service and app, is in the news again. Australian police have gone so far as to post warnings to parents on Facebook about the increasing problems with the app.
“Kik is overtaking Facebook as the number one social media problem among young people,” said District Senior Constable Rob Paterson. “Online grooming, cyber bullying, sexting are rife on this app.”
According to Victorian police, pedophiles request sexually explicit images from children on Kik. Those pictures are later used to coerce the child into performing sex acts.
While it is convenient and free, Kik is not appropriate for younger children who may not fully understand the risks and apply them to their own situation.
The App Store specifies that user should be 17 or older, but there are no in-store methods of verifying age. The iPad’s parental restrictions can be set to bar apps by age.
Check your child’s devices for Kik messenger, remembering it is available for smart phones as well. Given the bad rap the nation’s police have given the app, it is one you won’t want on your young person’s device. There are safer ways of staying in touch.
eQuipped posted an article last year on the double dangers of the combination of Instagram and Kik. Read it here for more info.
All the background on Kik can be found here.
An Australian cybersafety specialist comments on young children using social media here.