Social Media

Is Telegram Safe? A Telegram App Review for Parents

Overall Rating:
⭐ 1.0 / 5

Updated August 20, 2023 | Harmful Apps

Overview

Overall Rating: ⭐ 1.0 / 5

Recommended Age: 17 and up

Telegram is a popular free messaging app used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide. It’s similar in look and feel to WhatsApp, which, in turn, is pretty similar to a phone’s native texting and calling app. Telegram goes a step further, though, and adds the group chat functionality of apps like Discord or GroupMe — you can join enormous groups of people of up to 200,000 users. You can also use Telegram to share and store large files like TV shows or documents. The icing on the cake? The app features most parents’ biggest fear: disappearing messages. 

To summarize: Telegram is like a Frankenstein of some of the scariest features of several different apps and social media platforms — making it uniquely unsafe for kids.

Harmful Content 😲

Rating:

Telegram has a feature where you can find nearby users and message them, which is incredibly dangerous for kids to use. Chats can be sent in secret mode or can be programmed to “self-destruct” or disappear like Snapchat.

 In addition, there are public groups that share inappropriate content with each other — including pornographic GIFs, images, links to videos, and more.

 Telegram has a built-in browser that this content may open up in, making it harder for parents to know what kinds of websites have been visited. 

Predation 🚨

Rating:

The potential for predation is very high on the Telegram app. It gives users the ability to connect with total strangers who are located nearby, communicate with disappearing messages, and share large digital files. Telegram may be one of the most potentially dangerous apps we’ve come across here at Bark.

Positive Value 💙

Rating:

The potential dangers of Telegram outweigh the benefits, especially when its main feature, messaging, can be done in much safer apps.

Privacy 🔒

Rating:

Your child can send and receive messages to strangers who are within walking distance of their location, so privacy concerns on Telegram are very real.

Parental Controls ✅

Rating:

Telegram has no real parental controls to speak of. You can manage who can see information like phone number, last time online, profile photo, and more, but they’re not passcode-protected. This means that they’re easily toggled back on. 

Fortunately, Bark provides help for families who use Telegram. We’re here to help you keep your kid safe by allowing you to:

  • Block Telegram entirely, if needed.
  • Manage when your child can use Telegram throughout the day.

So, should my kid download it?

No. Telegram messenger poses way too many dangers for its primary purpose: sending messages. If your kid just needs to keep in touch with friends, apps like iMessage accomplish this with far fewer risks.

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