Arkansas Attorney General warns parents against these online apps

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The Arkansas Attorney General has released a list of apps that could be dangerous for children and advice for parents to better monitor online activity.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns parents across the state to monitor their child’s online activity for “bullying, anonymous messaging and child exploitation by criminals”.

Along with the warning, Rutledge included a list of apps that could be dangerous for children and provided tips for parents to better monitor online activity.

“While technology can be an invaluable resource for learning, it can also expose your child to criminal or inappropriate activity,” Rutledge said. “It is important that we take all necessary steps to protect our most precious Arkansans from those who wish to harm them.”

According to Rutledge, there are several apps which, if not used properly or if minors fake their age to use them, can lead to dangers.

List of apps to watch for parents according to AG Rutledge:

  • Bumblebee – Bumble is a popular dating app that requires women to make first contact.
  • chatous – Chatous is a messaging application that allows users to chat and share images.
  • Discord – Discord is a voice and text chat tool that allows players to communicate in real time. Users can chat and add friends one-on-one or in larger groups.
  • Grindr – Grindr is a dating app for LGBTQ adults. The app gives users options to chat, share photos, and meet people based on a smartphone’s GPS location.
  • house party – Houseparty is a group video chat app that allows users to communicate via live video chats and texts.
  • Live.Me – Live.Me allows users to broadcast live video using geolocation to share the videos so that other users can find the exact location of the broadcaster.
  • Monkey – Monkey is an app that allows users as young as 12 to chat with people around the world in a short introductory call.
  • Bogus calculator app – Most phones have a calculator. However, there are many third-party calculator apps that actually serve as a “vault” where the user can hide photos, videos, files, and even browser history data.
  • Snapchat – Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app that promises users that their photo or video will disappear even if it’s not. Snapchat stories allow users to view content for up to 24 hours and share their location.
  • ICT Tac – TikTok is a popular app among kids which is used to create and share short videos with limited privacy controls.
  • tinder – Tinder is a dating app that allows users to “swipe right” to like someone and “swipe left” to pass.
  • tumblr – Tumblr is a blogging application and website that allows users as young as 13 to create an account.
  • WhatsApp – WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send text messages, send photos, make calls and leave voice messages worldwide.
  • Whisper – Whisper is a social network that allows users to share secrets anonymously and reveals users’ locations.
  • Yik Yak – Yik Yak is a social media app that allows an individual to chat anonymously with other app users within a 5 mile radius.
  • Youtube – YouTube is a video sharing application. Inappropriate content can be found using innocent search terms, but with Parental Controls this can be avoided.
  • Yubo – Yubo is a social media app that allows users as young as 13 to create a profile, share their location, view profiles of other users in their area, and view live streams.

Rutledge also included tips that parents can use to further monitor their child’s online activity, such as:

Tips for monitoring online safety:

  • Talk to children about sexual victimization and the potential for online harm.
  • Keep the computer or laptop in a common room in the house, not in a child’s room.
  • Use parental controls available from Internet service providers or use blocking software.
  • Always maintain access to a child’s online account and monitor text, email, and other message inboxes.
  • Teach children responsible use of online resources.
  • Familiarize yourself with the computer protections used at school, at the library and at friends’ houses.
  • Never automatically assume that what you say to a child online is true.

Arkansans can report child exploitation by calling the National CyberTipline at (800) 843-5678 or by visiting CyberTipline.com. In an emergency, dial 911 or call local law enforcement.

For more information on Rutledge’s alert, click here.

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