If you’ve started looking into monitoring your child’s iOS device with Bark, you may have noticed that Apple products have certain limitations when it comes to monitoring. As of right now, no third-party apps on the market are allowed to monitor all of the activities on Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok on iOS devices because of Apple’s terms of service. But that doesn’t mean that monitoring your child’s accounts for potential issues isn’t important.

While it’s true that Androids are easier for us to monitor, there are still plenty of reasons that Bark is a smart choice for you and your kids — even if you’re a dedicated Apple family! Check out these parent-tested reasons below that show how Bark helps keep your child safe online and in real life, no matter what devices they use.

1. Bark monitors more platforms than anyone on the market, and we’re constantly adding to the list.

The hottest apps are always in flux, and what’s popular one day with kids may be out of fashion the next. The Bark Team is always keeping up with tween and teen culture. When we find that a new app is gaining traction, we add it to our monitoring list. Right now we monitor more than 30 of the most popular platforms and apps for iOS devices, from Spotify and Gmail to Kik and Twitter.

Some families might worry that Apple’s backup features slow down alerts from Bark. But this only affects activities at the device level. The majority of platforms — including social media — are scanned at the account level. Bark monitors these platforms regardless of when or where your child logs in, whether it’s a friend’s phone or a home computer.

Parent Testimonial:
“As a parent, I am super pleased with what Bark covers and how it reports to me. I do wish that Apple and iPhones allowed monitoring on everything, but what is monitored is great. This is an A+ app for parents!”

2. Android parents can still use Bark if their kids have iPhones.

Managing a Bark account as a parent is separate from the monitoring we do for your child’s connected accounts. So if you’re using an Android phone, you can still use the Bark parent app from the Google Play Store to manage your child’s profile, even if they’re using an iPhone. Plus, you can remotely control your child’s screen time even if you’re using different types of devices!

3. If your child creates new or additional accounts, Bark will let you know.

It’s important to know what your child is getting into online so you can help keep them safe, and we understand that they may not always tell you about which corners of the internet they frequent. With Bark, you can see what apps your child has downloaded to their phone. We’re also able to pick up on welcome emails and confirmation texts from new social media platforms they may have signed up for without telling you. This will help you have a better understanding of your child’s online life.

4. Our screen time and web filtering features let you manage your kid’s activities all in one place.

You might already be familiar with Apple’s Screen Time feature, but there’s a huge benefit to managing everything from tech time limits to inappropriate websites all in one spot — and you can do that through your Bark dashboard. Our monitoring, web filtering, and screen time features all work together to provide comprehensive support and coverage for all the ways your kid’s technology use might affect them. From scheduling digital downtime in order to support their mental health to preventing your child from stumbling across sexual content, we’re here to empower you to help keep them safe by providing multiple layers of protection.

Parent Testimonial:
“Bark has been a great tool in keeping me informed. It even lets me know when my child had decreased activity and warned me that she may have opened a new account without my knowledge.”

5. Bark monitors more than just text. We also analyze emojis, images, and videos for potentially concerning content.

Kids communicate in countless ways online, from emails and texts to social media captions and direct messages. Much of Generation Z’s daily communications take place beyond simple words and sentences. Teens and tweens rely heavily on emojis, memes, photos, and GIFs to express themselves, and Bark’s technology can analyze those for potential issues and alert you if something potentially concerning arises.

Parent Testimonial:
“Definitely worth the time and effort to make it work with our Apple products. You can’t put a price on peace of mind!”

6. Our AI stays up to date on dangerous trends and viral challenges.

It seems like every few months there’s a new online trend that has kids performing and recording all sorts of stunts for social media. Some are fun, like the Kiki Challenge — but some are dangerous, like the Tide Pod Challenge and the Momo Challenge. Bark’s algorithm keeps up with these trends and monitors for discussions around the latest stunts, helping you to intervene before your child does something that might hurt them.

7. Bark can give you insight into serious issues you may not even know exist.

Parents often write in to tell us that Bark alerts informed them about issues in their kid’s life they had no idea they were struggling with. Kids often pour out their hearts to their friends in online communications, hiding the signs of depression or anxiety from their parents. Alerts from Bark can give you insight into what’s really going on in their lives.

Parent Testimonial:
“Thank you very much for checking in. The Bark app has been great for keeping tabs on our daughter’s struggles. She is currently getting weekly therapy with a licensed psychologist to work through her issues. The school administration is also working with us on various bullying issues. We’d be really in the dark without Bark.”

8. Bark helps prompt important conversations with kids about difficult topics.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to have a serious discussion about digital safety with your kid, you might not ever have a chance. When you get Bark, alerts to potential issues can provide the perfect opportunity to talk through what your child might be going through, whether it’s cyberbullying, depression, or suicidal ideation. You’ll also get helpful advice and recommended actions from experts to help your family handle each issue.

Parent Testimonial:
“We used OurPact Jr. prior to switching to Bark, and it has been the best decision. Your app has captured so much information that has helped us in having productive conversations with our teenagers.”

9. Our world-class support team always has your back.

A tech company is only as successful as its customer support team, and at Bark, we have the very best. Our Family Online Safety Specialists complete a rigorous Customer Support Masterclass on the intricacies of our products that trains them to connect you with all the information you need. They also earn a fully accredited professional child psychology diploma that focuses on empathy and communication. Regardless of what issues you run into with Bark, our support team can help you tackle them.

We know it’s frustrating that Apple makes it more challenging to monitor online activities, but we still help parents and guardians keep their kids safe online — no matter what operating systems they use.

Do you ever wish you could tell a friend they need to change without the risk of harming your relationship? Lipsi — the anonymous messaging app that’s available in the Google Play Store and the App Store — wants to make sharing anonymous opinions easier than ever. Like other anonymous messaging apps, this platform poses potential risks that parents should consider. Bark now detects potential issues on Lipsi on Android devices by monitoring chats, comments, and the posts your child views.

Officially, users have to be at least 18 years old to create a Lipsi account, but there is no additional verification required. That means kids can still easily access the features, making this an app that you should definitely have on your radar. In this post, Bark breaks down everything you need to know about Lipsi.

All the Ways to Connect on Lipsi

Conversations on Lipsi are designed to primarily take place between people who already know each other. The app asks users to add their Lipsi profile links to their Instagram bios so their friends who don’t have Lipsi can send them anonymous messages. Another option is to add your cell phone number to sync your phone contacts.

Users can type any name into the Lipsi search tool and message that person directly — whether they know them in real life or not. They can also find people to chat with by adding their social media usernames to their Lipsi profiles. This makes it very easy for your child to take their connections with strangers on the app to different platforms like Snapchat or Twitter.

One of the main interactive features on Lipsi is the “Daily Dose” poll, which asks users to answer three questions each day. This provides yet another way to connect: If your responses match up with another person’s, the two of you will be able to chat.

Is Lipsi Safe for Kids?

Lipsi has taken measures to try to keep conversations safe. Users can go into their profile settings and turn on a safety filter that can reduce the likelihood that they’ll receive inappropriate messages. However, monitoring your child’s activity on the platform is still important because harmful content can potentially get through the filter.

The app claims that anyone who is reported for sending abusive, threatening, or racist comments will have their identity revealed, and users are regularly reminded to “support your peers” in a number of pop-up boxes. Unfortunately, if a child has received an inappropriate message, the damage has already been done by the time they decide to report someone.

What Can Go Wrong?

Lipsi suggests that anonymity can be good for friendships. For example, the app is marketed as a mental health resource. “We know mental health is not so easy to talk about,” the website says. “Tell your friends that you’re here for them. If they need someone to talk to about something that’s bothering them, they’ll know they can confide in you anonymously.” While this attempts to address a very real problem, the solution is flawed.

The lure of anonymity can push kids to send messages they would never share with their identities attached. Believing they can say whatever they want without fear of repercussion emboldens some users to share sexually explicit messages or even cyberbully people they know in real life. Add in the fact that Lipsi allows you to erase your chat history and the temptation to send abusive messages increases even more.

Helping Keep Kids Safe Online

While Bark is still working on monitoring Lipsi on iOS, we do monitor the app on Android devices for text chats, the top posts your child views, and the comments they make on other posts. Even if your child erases their messages, you’ll still receive a Bark alert about any potentially concerning content.

Monitoring with Bark can give parents and guardians peace of mind knowing that their kids are better protected from potential issues, including cyberbullying, sexual content, depression, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more. Our technology detects these issues across texts, chat, email, YouTube, and 24+ social media platforms. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial!

If you’re like most people, Dungeons & Dragons probably conjures up images of warriors, wizards, and dwarves. But what is DnD? A game? An activity? Both? For millions of devoted players around the world, it’s actually an incredibly pro-social activity that inspires team building, creativity, and problem-solving. 

Surprised? You’re not alone! Plenty of people have never heard of it — or if they have, they don’t fully understand what it is. But Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) is becoming mainstream thanks to the hit retro Netflix series Stranger Things. As a result, there’s been a surge of new players of all ages and backgrounds. Whether your kids have expressed interest in playing or you’re just curious to learn more, there has never been a better time to pick up a 20-sided die and dive into a fantastical world! In this post, we break down everything you need to know about Dungeons & Dragons.

What is DnD? Understanding the Basics 

Created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, DnD refers to not only the tabletop role-playing game, but also the set of rules used to play it. Players choose their characters from various mystical species — but unlike choosing, say, the racecar in Monopoly or Professor Plum in Clue, characters in DnD are incredibly detailed and completely customizable. Everything from names and backstories to clothing and ethics is up for customization — all of these decisions are up to the player, which provides a great outlet for expression and creativity.

Once all of the characters are developed, the adventure (or “campaign”) can begin. Another player, known as the Dungeon Master (DM), acts as a guide to the other players, describing the world they inhabit as well as the experiences, battles, and creatures the characters will meet. Dice come into play at key moments in the game, providing elements of surprise and randomness for determining the outcomes of encounters.

Kids Can Benefit from Dungeons & Dragons

As kids play DnD, they’re stretching some serious creative muscles and putting their imaginations to the test as they battle Half-Orcs, cast Invisibility spells, and come up with inventive solutions to hairy situations. It’s also a blast to play together with friends, and as the campaign progresses, opportunities for collaboration and conflict resolution pop up — more great skills for kids to develop.

The game also provides kids with the ability to explore right and wrong. When developing characters, you get to pick a “moral alignment” — examples include Chaotic Good, True Neutral, and Lawful Evil (although the game is designed to discourage players from choosing Evil alignments). These alignments guide a character’s behavior throughout the campaign, and the clash of different moral codes ultimately influences the development of the game. This is especially true during crisis situations — in the thick of battle, for example — when players have to negotiate competing interests and desires. This gives kids a safe way to practice standing up for themselves, working with allies, and overcoming interpersonal obstacles, which in turn prepares them to handle challenging situations in the real world.

How It Creates an Inclusive World

For decades, Dungeons & Dragons has been portrayed in pop culture as the domain of nerdy boys huddled over a table in a dingy basement. But in reality, the game has become more and more inclusive to players of all identities in recent years. Women, children with social anxiety, and adults of all ages are flocking to DnD for the same reasons long-time fans have always loved it — adventure, creativity, and friendship.

The DnD community is not only growing more diverse, but the characters it’s creating are likewise evolving. Players are expanding what it means to be an elf, for instance, challenging assumptions about body type, temperament, and appearance. It’s a refreshing development that bodes well for the next generation of folks who pick up the dice and start playing. 

We hope this post has enlightened you as to what DnD really is and what it means for people of all ages across the world. Whether your kids are seasoned veterans or have just picked up their first 12-sided die, they’re sure to have a good time and learn many valuable skills over the years.

*As of Feb. 5, 2020, the HOLLA app is no longer available in the App Store. But if your child has an Android device or installed the app when it was still available in the App Store, they’re potentially at risk of encountering these dangers.*

Bark now monitors the
HOLLA app for signs of digital dangers. This app has become very popular among kids, allowing them to have text conversations — as well as live voice and video calls — with people all over the world. While meeting strangers online and learning about their interests might sound fun to your child, parents should be advised that there’s plenty about the app that is cause for concern.

Although we’re not yet able to monitor voice or video calls on HOLLA, Bark detects potential issues within text chats on Android devices to help protect your child online. From sexual content to online predators, here’s what you need to know about the HOLLA app.

What is the HOLLA App?

As a self-described “live random video chat” app, HOLLA pairs strangers from around the world and allows them to talk to each other. By swiping left or right on user profiles (thanks, Tinder), you can either accept or decline live chats with other users. If you both swipe right, you’re a “match,” and from there you can connect via text chat, voice call, or live video call. HOLLA is also a “freemium” platform, meaning it’s free to download and use, but you can get additional features with a HOLLA Prime subscription.

HOLLA is rated 17+, but there’s nothing to stop younger kids from putting in older ages in order to create an account. Profiles consist of a kid’s age, location, gender, several pictures, and a short blurb sharing their interests or other personal information. Most users have to rely on photos to decide whether to swipe left or right, but Prime subscribers can access full profiles. Users can rate their conversations, and if they want to chat again they can add each other to their “Friends” list.

Is HOLLA Safe for Kids?

One of the biggest issues on HOLLA is that kids are at risk of encountering sexual content. While the app promises to foster connection, there’s almost no way to control who you connect with — or what they show you. Many users have reported that people they’ve matched with exposed themselves on camera without the user’s permission.

The risks kids face on HOLLA don’t end there. Common Sense Media reviews the app in this way: “If sex traffickers and online predators described the perfect social media app, this would be it. This app flies in the face of parents’ ‘stranger danger’ philosophy, encouraging users to expose their names, faces, ages, and locations to strangers around the world.” Making matters worse, HOLLA has a “Nearby” feature that filters users by location. Online predators can take advantage of this feature by trying to meet with children in real life.

Parents need to be aware of these risks so they can help keep their kids safe online. Bark is currently unable to monitor live voice and video calls on the HOLLA app, but our award-winning technology monitors text chats on Android devices for signs of cyberbullying, sexual content, online predators, threats of violence, and more. Bark can also notify you when your child downloads a new app to give you greater insights into their online activities. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial!

What’s the first rule of looking at a photo on someone’s phone? You can’t swipe to see other images unless they say you can. If letting someone scroll through your Camera Roll at their leisure sounds like your own personal nightmare, you’ll be shocked to learn that a new app allows people to do just that — and it’s topping the game charts in the Google Play Store and App Store!

Photo Roulette lets you access the photo libraries (and video libraries, for a fee) on your friends’ and family members’ phones and lets them do the same. Just imagine: awkward selfies, screenshotted conversations, and cringy memes are all fair game for being instantaneously shared — all for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents.

Although the app is marketed to users age 17 and older, your younger child could easily claim that they’re old enough to play, so this is definitely a game that parents need to keep an eye on. In this post, Bark breaks down everything you need to know about Photo Roulette.

Sharing Private Photos at Random

To play, anywhere from three to 10 people give the app permission to draw photos from their photo libraries. Then the countdown begins. One by one, the app will display a random photo that it has found on a player’s phone. All players have to quickly guess whose photo they see, and the person with the most correct answers wins!

Photos are only displayed for five seconds, so it could be tempting for your child to assume there’s little harm in letting their friends see any photo they’ve saved. But the ability to screenshot means that embarrassing — or even explicit — photos on their phone can be duplicated to another person’s Camera Roll.

Even if your child and their friends have squeaky-clean photo libraries, that doesn’t mean every photo that appears will be harmless. Some users have reported seeing inappropriate images that don’t belong to anyone in the game. Because of this, it might be impossible for players to ensure that they won’t be exposed to troubling content.

The good news? In the app’s current version, Photo Roulette doesn’t allow players to randomly match up with each other. Instead, users invite other people by sharing an invite code. Unless your child posts their invite code online, only people they know personally will be able to play the game with them. That means there’s less of a danger that a stranger’s inappropriate photo will appear on your child’s screen.

Plus, if a player really wants to be able to choose which of their photos show up, they can purchase the “Plant a Photo” add-on, which allows them to select approved images that they’d like to let their friends see. But if another player exercises a little bad judgment or attempts to be shocking, pictures of pretty much anything could show up during the game.

Help Protect Your Kids Online

Because the app is newly popular, we’re still working on monitoring Photo Roulette. But Bark can send you an alert when your child downloads a new app. Plus, we cover plenty of other hubs where your kids spend time online. Bark monitors texts, chat, email, YouTube, and 24+ social media platforms for signs of cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, adult content, and more. Parents and guardians don’t have to read every message — instead, they’ll get alerts only when there’s a potential issue. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial!

The Silver Lining

The good news? In the app’s current version, Photo Roulette doesn’t allow players to randomly match up with each other. Instead, users invite other people by sharing an invite code. Unless your child posts their invite code online, only people they know personally will be able to play the game with them. That means there’s less of a danger that a stranger’s inappropriate photo will appear on your child’s screen.

Plus, if a player really wants to be able to choose which of their photos show up, they can purchase the “Plant a Photo” add-on, which allows them to select approved images that they’d like to let their friends see. But if another player exercises a little bad judgment or attempts to be shocking, pictures of pretty much anything could show up during the game.

Houseparty App Safety and Monitoring

**This post was updated on Dec. 12, 2019**

When you were in high school, did you ever try to throw a low-key party — only to have way more people show up than you invited? Houseparty, a social media app that’s available on iOS and Android, allows users to connect with people they know — and people they don’t — by allowing users to invite friends and friends of friends into video-chatting sessions. Is this platform safe for kids? Let’s dig in.

What is Houseparty?

Houseparty — which was acquired in June 2019 by Fortnite creator Epic Games — is a group video chat platform that allows friends (and friends of friends) to chat via live video and text. Up to eight friends join the conversation, which takes place via a split-screen video feed. But no administrators monitor any of the activity, which means the possibility of inappropriate content is high, depending on the people involved in the chat. While it can seem like conversations are taking place between close friends, things don’t always remain that intimate. Users can send links to their profiles to anyone. There’s also the ability to take screenshots — even in private groups — and share them on other social media sites.

Is Houseparty Safe to Use?

If you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to let your child have the Houseparty app, here’s a good question to ask yourself: Would you let your child bring a bunch of friends over, let each of those friends bring additional friends, and not check to see who ends up in your house? If the mere thought of that makes you tremble, then you need to keep an eye on the Houseparty app as well.

If your child is chatting with one of their friends, mutual friends (and friends of mutual friends) can join the chat, which means there’s a high likelihood that your child will be exposed to strangers. The app does notify you when someone new joins a chat, so your child can leave if they want to avoid someone they don’t know in real life. But sometimes, inappropriate behavior from strangers occurs before you can do anything about it.

The video feed on Houseparty is live, and there is no monitoring by administrators so there’s a definite chance of being exposed to inappropriate content. And because people can take screenshots and share them anywhere, anything your child does or posts inside the app has the potential to be seen outside of the app. The app also promotes a screen-sharing feature, which can be used to broadcast inappropriate content.

You can lock a chat so that access is only granted to those specifically invited. However, you must deliberately enable these options. If your child is invited to someone else’s chat, they have no control over who else their friend invites.

Does Houseparty Have Online Predators?

Houseparty lets your child chat with their contacts who also use the app. This by itself could grant predators access to your children, especially if they’ve already shared their contact information with a predator they’ve met online. Houseparty also has gaming features. The popularity of in-app games can make it seem much less dangerous to connect with someone unknown.

The biggest potential for online predators, however, comes from other users and their friends. When your child is in a chat with a friend, their friends can also join the chat. This digital playground means exposure to people that your child may not know, but who they may feel inclined to trust based on the fact that they have a mutual friend. This trust could make it easier for a predator to try to get information from your child. Taking some extra steps to protect your child would probably be a good idea if they use this app.

Does Houseparty Offer Monitoring or Parental Controls?

While Houseparty does have community guidelines, it does not appear to have any kind of monitoring admins. The information on their website is very limited. There is no mention of parental controls or monitoring of any kind. Additionally, the live video feed is extremely difficult to monitor live.

There is no age requirement either, so make sure you talk to your children about the risks of logging onto an all-ages platform. Make sure they are only interacting with people they know and keep an eye on their contacts.

Bark is currently able to monitor Houseparty on Android devices. Specifically, Bark monitors Notes, which are the messages passed between users while inside the app so you can be alerted to any potentially dangerous messages, allowing you to open a dialogue with your child.

For more safety information, check out this comprehensive review from Common Sense Media as well as this post from our friends at Protect Young Eyes.

Bark now covers Skype, the popular video and voice chat platform. While we’re unable to monitor content shared during live calls, we can monitor the text and media shared through direct messages on connected Android and Amazon devices. By updating their Bark for Kids app, parents can make sure that their kids are better protected on the popular video-chatting platform. Here’s what parents need to know about Skype monitoring.

What Is Skype?

Skype is a telecommunications app that lets users video chat and voice call on a wide range of internet-connected devices — including computers, smartphones, tablets, XBox One consoles, and more. Complete with audio/video calling, call recording, messaging, and screen sharing, it’s easy to see why Skype is a go-to tool for people around the world.

The platform is most popular among adults who use it for both personal and professional communications. But as video chatting has become a staple of staying in touch online, kids have also started using Skype to keep up with friends and family.

Skype Monitoring: Is Skype Safe for Kids?

While Skype is not known as a dangerous online platform, it has built-in features that people with bad intentions can exploit. From video calls to direct messaging, kids are at risk of experiencing abuse if they’re in touch with people they don’t know in real life. These people might expose them to sexually explicit content, subject them to cyberbullying, or try to initiate inappropriate relationships.

Bark is currently unable to monitor the contents of video chats on Skype. But text and media within direct messages can also pose risks to children when exploited by strangers, so we do monitor those activities on Android and Amazon devices. Monitoring Skype with Bark can give families peace of mind knowing that their kids are better protected from potential issues, including cyberbullying, sexual content, depression, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more. Our technology detects these issues across texts, chat, email, YouTube, and 24+ social media platforms. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial!

Bark monitors WhatsApp

**This post was updated on Dec. 7, 2020**

Are you familiar with WhatsApp? There are many potential positives to using the app, but there are also potential issues to be aware of. You may be wondering, “Is WhatsApp safe for my child?” You’ll probably be relieved to know that Bark monitors the app for signs of digital dangers. Here’s what you need to know about the platform.

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is an instant messaging service that lets people with different mobile devices message each other. There’s no cost to using the app, as it uses regular internet data the same way that checking your email on a smartphone does. While pretty much all phones come with the ability to send text messages, WhatsApp is an alternative that doesn’t charge you SMS fees. The service is often used to keep in touch with people who are traveling internationally — or those who live in different countries. Users can create groups and share pictures, audio, and video messages as long as they’re connected to the internet.

Is WhatsApp Safe for Kids?

While it can be a useful app for many adults, WhatsApp may not be appropriate for all teens. It can be to assume the platform poses no issues, and therefore not realize it needs monitoring. Some kids like using WhatsApp because they know that many parents are less familiar with it than with regular texting. As a result, teens may believe they won’t get caught sending inappropriate messages on WhatsApp.

Sending Inappropriate Content

Is WhatsApp safe in terms of sexual content? The potential dangers of WhatsApp are similar to those of any other devices or apps that allow for online interaction, as it can be used for sexting, cyberbullying, or other types of worrisome content. Hundreds of people can share messages in a group using WhatsApp. Like other group messaging apps, this makes it easy for several people to target and cyberbully someone in the group. This feature also provides a way to spread rumors or photos of another person to many others quickly. Private photos and conversations can be downloaded and screenshots can be taken and shared in a matter of seconds.

One of the major downsides of WhatsApp from a parent’s point of view is that anyone can create an account, and there is no filter for adult content. Anyone can view any content sent to them, and there are no enforcement features that ensure users meet the age requirement of being 16 or older.

Disappearing Messages

In November 2020, WhatsApp added a setting that allows users to enable disappearing messages. With this new update, someone can elect to have their conversation with someone automatically erase after one week. Luckily, you have the option to turn this feature off, but it’s worth noting that you will need to make sure it’s off for each individual contact your child chats with — there isn’t a way to change this on an account level. Plus, there’s nothing to stop your child from simply enabling disappearing messages again once you’ve disabled them, so make sure you talk to them about how nothing truly disappears online.

How to Disable Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp

1. Open your child’s WhatsApp app.
2. Click a contact’s name.
3. Tap “disappearing messages.”
4. Turn them off.

Is WhatsApp Secure?

WhatsApp takes security seriously. There is no server that stores messages after they are delivered. Calls are encrypted on both ends so that third parties cannot overhear conversations. Additionally, not even WhatsApp can read messages sent to their users.

This technology is both a blessing and a curse. The positive side is that kids have a secure way to speak to people. The negative side is when they speak to someone they shouldn’t, kids might think they have the freedom to say whatever they want and their guardians won’t find out because of these security features.

It’s not exactly true that only the intended recipients of a message can view it. It’s more accurate to say that only people who have the phone a message is sent to or from can view it. The app doesn’t have password protection, so anyone can access the app on someone’s phone and look at all their messages. Additionally, there are ways to record messages by screenshotting them or by using a recording app. 

What Are the Potential Dangers?

Kids may say that parents are overreacting or overprotective when worrying about how they’re using WhatsApp. However, there is an inherent danger present on all apps that allow anyone to contact others. For example, maybe a “friend of a friend” gets added to a group chat, but this person is not really who they say they are. In these kinds of situations, sexual predators can target children and groom them in an attempt to get them to share inappropriate photos, sometimes with an ultimate goal of secretly meeting in real life. All that being said, is WhatsApp safe? Putting monitoring protections in place and have regular conversions about online safety can really reduce the risk that your child might run into something dangerous on the platform.