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Is WhatsApp Safe for Kids? Using a WhatsApp Monitor

by | Nov 3, 2019 | Social Media Monitoring

Are you familiar with WhatsApp? There are many potential positives to using the app, but there are also potential issues with kids. Parents may worry about whether or not WhatsApp is safe for kids, and they’ll be relieved to know that Bark monitors the app for signs of digital dangers. Here’s what parents need to know about WhatsApp.

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. 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 teens. It can be easy for parents to overlook the app 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

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 issues. 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.

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 of 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 protections, 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.

About Bark

Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.

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