Parents: Watch out for list of apps on kids’ phones, Shawnee County Sheriff says

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office released a list of 16 popular social media apps parents should be on the lookout for.

The sheriff’s office tweeted the list of apps Thursday, urging parents to educate themselves on popular apps their kids could be using.

With many kids stuck inside bored during the coronavirus pandemic, they are turning to social media as a way to spend their time.

Certain messaging apps such as Kik, Whisper, and Snapchat allow users to chat back and forth.

However, the person your child could be messaging may not be who they claim they are, and instead could be of a different age or from another state, or even country, according to Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill.

“Sometimes they’re talking to somebody much older than they think they’re talking to,” Hill said. “We’ve had people drive in from out of state to pick up juveniles, and then we’re in Nebraska trying to find a juvenile who has absconded with someone.”

Another app called Calculator% appears to be a regular calculator, and functions like one too.

However, when a certain code is entered, it unlocks secret messages, images, and more.

Speaking with your kids about these potential dangers, and how to act smart on social media, is important, Hill said.

The full list of apps to be aware of include:

  • MeetMe: Allows users to connect based on geographic location.
  • WhatsApp: A messaging app used to chat and connect globally.
  • Bumble: A dating app similar to Tinder that requires women to make the first contact.
  • LiveMe: A live stream video app based on geographic location.
  • Ask.fm: An app that lets users anonymously ask questions to each other.
  • Grindr: An LGBTQ+ dating app that allows users to chat, share photos and meet up.
  • TikTok: An app allowing people to share short videos and watch other content.
  • Snapchat: Allows users to send photos and videos that will delete after opened.
  • Holla: Allows users to meet people globally.
  • Calculator%: An app designed to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
  • Skout: A location-based dating app allowing people to share private photos.
  • Badoo: A dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos.
  • Kik: A messaging app that gives users unlimited access to users.
  • Whisper: An app allowing people to share information anonymously and allows users to share location to meet up.
  • Hot or Not: Allows users to rate profiles, chat and connect with people in the area.

The sheriff’s office also warned of Omegle, a website that pairs videochat users randomly. The agency asked parents to talk to their children about internet safety as they use phones and computers.

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