The Top 20 Apps On Your Child’s Smartphone
What apps do your kids use the most? TeenSafe recently conducted a survey to find the answer to this question. Here’s a look at the top 20 apps on your child’s smartphone:
At the top of the list is Instagram, which is a photo sharing social media app. Kids love the fact that they can get instant feedback on their photos and videos on Instagram. Positive comments may boost a child’s self esteem, but negative comments can destroy it. Parents should make sure their child’s Instagram account has the most restrictive privacy settings to prevent cyberbullies and strangers from seeing their child’s posts.
YouTube is a video sharing website that kids mainly use to watch funny viral videos. Kids may stumble across inappropriate content on YouTube, and some kids may even upload their own inappropriate or offensive videos. Cyberbullying is a major problem on YouTube, since users are free to leave negative comment on each other’s videos.
Netflix is a subscription video streaming service where users can watch various documentaries, TV shows, or movies. If you’re worried about your child being exposed to inappropriate content, simply set up a separate user profile for him and adjust the parental controls on his profile. Once the parental controls are turned on, your child will have to enter your password in order to gain access to mature content.
On Snapchat, kids can send photos or short videos that disappear after they are viewed by the recipient. Because the messages disappear, kids feel more comfortable sending inappropriate photos or videos. But, the recipient can easily screenshot the photo or video and send it to others, which happens quite frequently.
Musical.ly users create their own videos and upload them to the platform for their followers or the world to see. Many kids use this app to create funny lip-synching videos, but others use it to upload offensive or inappropriate videos. In fact, many parents have complained that it is way too easy for kids to locate inappropriate content on this app.
6. Spotify Music
Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services among kids. For the most part, this app is safe for kids. However, kids may hear inappropriate lyrics since the songs are uncensored.
7. Pandora Music
Pandora is another music streaming service, but it is slightly more family-friendly since it gives users the option to censor explicit lyrics.
Facebook is a popular social media app where kids can share their thoughts, photos, and videos. Other users can comment on posts, which often leads to children being attacked by cyberbullies on Facebook. Predators may also try to befriend your child on Facebook, so adjust your child’s privacy settings to prevent this from happening.
Pinterest is an image-based social media platform where users can “pin” certain images, articles, and videos from around the web. Parents should talk to their kids to make sure they are not posting their personal information on Pinterest for all of the world to see. They should also review the images that their children are posting. Many kids that struggle with eating disorders or addiction turn to Pinterest to post images that glorify anorexia, bulimia, and drug use.
The Messenger app can be used to send private messages or make video calls through a Facebook account to other Facebook users. This app can be dangerous, but it depends on your child’s privacy settings. If the settings are not restrictive, predators or cyberbullies may target your child through these private messages.
Kids can create their own emojis on the Bitmoji app using cartoon avatars and personalized stickers. Parents should be aware that there are some stickers that are sexual or violent in nature, and others that show drug or alcohol use.
Kids can use the iMovie to create their own movies complete with special effects and soundtracks. This is a great way for kids to flex their creative muscles, but make sure you monitor what your child is filming. Some kids use this app to produce inappropriate or offensive movies that are shared with others through email, text, or social media.
Using the GamePigeon app, kids can play a variety of fun games with their friends through iMessage. The games—such as pool, basketball, and golf—are harmless and age appropriate.
Twitter is a microblogging site where users can create posts that are 140 characters or less. To prevent cyberbullying and ensure that strangers cannot reach your child, adjust the privacy settings so only followers can see your child’s posts.
15. Color Switch
Color Switch is a fast-paced game where users have to successfully take a colorful, bouncing ball through an obstacle course. The game is age appropriate and challenging, however the problem with this app is the advertisements. Many parents have complained that the app features pornographic advertisements that randomly pop up on the screen. For this reason, it’s best to delete this app off of your kids’ phones.
Pages is a word processing app that allows kids to create unique and visually stunning documents. Kids primarily use this app to complete homework assignments and projects for school, so this is not an app that parents should worry about.
The Bible app allows kids to read or listen to passages from this holy book directly from their smartphones. The app gives kids the opportunity to learn more about religion, so there’s nothing for parents to fear.
Minecraft is a gaming app where kids can create their own virtual world. Many parents applaud Minecraft because it forces kids to use their creativity and problem solving skills. But, parents should know that the developers recently introduced in-app purchases to the game. This means kids could accidentally—or intentionally—purchase virtual currency using your credit card information. Some kids may not realize that they are purchasing virtual currency with real money, which is why so many parents do not allow their kids to play games with in-app purchases.
Numbers is a spreadsheet app that is very similar to Microsoft Excel, so it is often used by kids to keep track of information or complete homework assignments.
According to its website, Soundcloud is the world’s largest music and audio streaming platform. Soundcloud allows users to record and upload their own audio, which means kids can discover up and coming artists through this app. However, it also means that anyone can upload audio, so there is a chance that someone could use this feature to cyberbully your child.
Now that you know which apps your children are using, it’s time to initiate a conversation with your kids. Parents, use this list as a guide when talking to your children about the apps that they use on a regular basis.