Friday, November 15, 2013

10 social networks your kids don’t want you to know about!

 Kids are hooked on social media and are always looking for the next big thing It’s not always easy to find out about them and sometimes not easy to know if they are safe or not.

So, where are your kids hanging out today?  Here are ten social networks that you probably haven't heard of, but that your kids are using and some of the pitfalls.

1. Snapchat
Snapchat, widely nicknamed "the sexting app," lets you take photos or record video and share them with friends. The gimmick is that images "self-destruct" seconds after they've been viewed.
Teens think Snapchat is a risk-free way to share revealing or illegal photos with friends, but the recipient can save messages by taking a screenshot.  Hackers and scammers have gotten very good at stealing private images off of people's private computers and smartphones.
2. Kik
This messaging app is rated 17+ in app stores, but it's become popular with tweens and teens. Because users are known only by their Kik usernames, it's supposed to offer a private way to chat.
Like Snapchat, however, Kik is associated with sexting. And because it's easy to stay anonymous on Kik, it's become a favorite weapon for cyberbullies.
3. Tumblr
Tumblr is a blogging site that lets users share text, photo, video, quotes and audio posts. The site has earned a reputation as an online hangout for creative types. It’s no surprise it’s the blogging platform of choice for teens.
Tumblr is chock-full of content that's inappropriate for kids. Tumblr does not restrict content and many sites are filled with sexual content, offensive language and violence. Tumblr blogs are public so anyone can read your kids’ blog posts.
4. Creepy
The name of this app says it all. It lets people pull geolocation data from photos to pinpoint exactly where each picture was taken. A creep could easily find out where your child lives, goes to school or hangs out from their shared photos.
5. Pheed
Pheed is billed as a creative hangout where you can express yourself with text, photos, videos, audio tracks and voice-notes. You can create live audio and video broadcasts.
Pheed's live-streaming features raise serious privacy concerns. You never know who is watching. Hackers and online predators are out there, so make sure you talk your children about what's appropriate to share and what isn't. 
6. Vine
Vine is a free "micro-video" app that lets you create short, six-second video clips and then share them on social networking sites.
Making and sharing videos with Vine is fun and most videos posted on the service are harmless. But there's still a lot of adult content - images depicting nudity, drugs and violence - floating around the service.
7. Ask.Fm
This social media site is huge with teens in Europe and it's starting to gain popularity here too. You pose questions, or answer questions made by other users. The anonymous and unmoderated site has no privacy controls. Your child could be sharing personal information with bad people. The site has been linked to cyberbullying and bullying-related teen suicide.
8. Oovoo
Oovoo is a free video chat service that works a lot like Skype and Apple's Facetime. It blocks kids 13 and under from registering, but it's easy for kids to lie about their age and set up an account. Like all video chats, there's a real danger that kids can connect online with people they don't know. 
 9. Path
Path is a newer social network that lets you share text, photos and video with up to 150 friends. It's similar to Facebook, except instead of status updates you share "moments."  Path has a location-tracking neighborhood feature, so make sure it's turned off if your kids are on the site.
10. WhatsApp
Teens love this messenger app. WhatsApp lets you send unlimited texts, videos, photos and short audio messages. Teens can chat with friends without running up the phone bill

Sunday, November 3, 2013 is a project to promote positive values through YouTube videos. Their latest hit video has a powerful anti-bullying message:

Please check it out!

America's ANTI Bully