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Are your foster kids at risk? New smartphone apps to watch out for

New apps come out almost every day, but how do you know which ones are suitable for children? Whereas some have age limits or are generally no-go zones, others are safe in themselves but get abused by trolls. It can be hard to tell.

Luckily, the West Midlands Police and Ofsted keep a list of over 100 apps to be aware of. You’ll find it in full at the end of the article, but first let’s take a look at a few trending now.

New apps to be aware of

Lovoo

This dating app uses the location of your child’s smartphone – and therefore your child – to search for nearby people to engage in private chats with. It also has a paid VIP option that lets users look at your profile anonymously so you don’t know if they’ve seen your photos and details. Definitely not for children.

Woozworld

Although it’s generally an innocent gaming app – letting your child fashion a character and do quests in a virtual world – Woozworld’s chat features could be abused by dishonest people. There’s no accountability as you only need a parent’s email address to sign up, and there’s no way of telling who strangers really are.

That being said, the game itself is fine for children. If you’re happy for them to play, advise them to only chat with people they know and to never give out any personal information. If strangers start talking to them, they should speak to you immediately.

Monkey

An app that lets you Facetime with randomly selected strangers, Monkey is by its nature risky business. There’s no telling what someone will be doing when their live video feed starts playing on your screen, so there’s no way of preventing inappropriate images.

In addition, because users can follow each other on SnapChat after connecting on Monkey, what starts as a random encounter could escalate with sustained contact. Another app that’s not for children.

A great app for parents: Gallery Guardian

Many children take inappropriate photos of themselves without thinking about the consequences. But with Gallery Guardian, an app that detects nudity in images, you’ll know if it ever happens.

If your child takes or is sent an explicit photo, or downloads one from the internet, an alert is sent to your smartphone so you can deal with the problem. The app has a 96% success rate so it’s well worth getting.

More apps that could cause problems

Don’t panic if you find a child using these apps, it could be perfectly harmless. Just make sure you look them up on Google to find out exactly what they involve. Search for: “Is [app name] suitable for my children?” Then talk to whoever’s using them so they understand the risks and the right way to behave.

Content sharing apps

4Chan DeviantArt Dubsmash Foursquare House Party
KamStar Keek Live.ly Live.me Medium
Musical.ly MyMFB Peach Periscope Pheed
Reddit Renren Secret Piano Slingshot Vimeo
VK Weibo Wishbone Yellow Friends YouNow


Dating apps

Badoo Blendr Down Fuzz Gaydar
Grindr Guy Spy HookedUp Hornet Hot or Not
Huggle MeetMe Meetup MyLOL Skout
Snog Swipe Flirts Teenber Tinder Twoo
W-match Waplog Zoosk    


Gaming apps

Bin Weevils Boom Beach Clash of Clans Club Penguin Double Dog
Habbo Hotel Minecraft Miniclip Moshi Monsters MovieStarPlanet
Roblox Runescape Second Life Steam Twitch
World of Warcraft Woozworld Zgirls    


Messaging apps

Ask.fm Battlenet BBM Burn Note Cake
Chat Avenue Chatroulette Curse Cyber Dust Dischord
Disqus FMYLife GroupMe ICQ InstaMessage
Kik Messenger KK Friends Line Live Chat Meow Chat
Mumble Omegle ooVoo SayHi Send safe
Secret Shoutout Signal Snapchat Streamago
Tango TeamSpeak Telegram TigerText Ventrillo
Viber Voxer WeChat Whisper Wickr
Yik Yak Zello PTT Zobe