It is incredibly important for all parents to know about Kik Messenger because of how popular it has become among young people of all ages. There are a lot of kids using Kik, so you will need to make sure that you know as much about it as possible.
What is This Kik App?
Kik is essentially a mobile app that can be used on Android and iOS devices for the purpose of sending text messages, photos, videos and other things to friends. It is an anonymous messaging service that lets users create usernames to chat for free. There are currently over 200 million people across the planet using this app. One of the most attractive things about this app is the fact that you don’t have to reveal your location or phone number when signing up for an account, though you do need to submit an email address.
These days many teenagers are using Kik to text each other more so than they actual texting app built into their phones. Kik users are able to send and receive text messages as well as photos from those who are on their contacts list as well as those who are not. If someone who is not on your child’s Kik contacts list sends them a picture or video, it will be blurred until they choose to unblur it by pressing it and holding it with their finger. This is actually a recent feature that was implemented to prevent people of all ages from being exposed to offense content from people they do not know.
How is the Kik App Setup?
Kik can be used through a data plan or local Wi-Fi. A person’s username on this app can be accompanied by a profile picture, but they do not have to upload a picture if they don’t want to. Users can use the Invite a Friend option to invite new people to converse with on Kik. Although it’s true that this can be done in a number of ways, the method that is most potentially dangerous for your child involves social media. Users can actually share their profile over social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, allowing anyone who sees the post to message them on Kik. A lot of younger people tend to do this, which in turn puts them at risk for being targeted by online predators.
And while it’s fairly easy to block someone who you no longer wish to talk to on Kik, there are not currently any parental controls. This means that it’s up to the child or person using the app to decide how much privacy they want. It is important for parents with kids who use Kik to keep close track of their activity on it, going into the Privacy Settings to make sure they stay safe. There are quite a few different privacy options to explore within this app, and you will definitely want to discuss them with your child right away.
Each year a number of teenagers are harassed by predators through Kik, so you will certainly want to make a point of discussing this with your child if they are using it. One of the reasons that so many young people love Kik so much is because it offers unlimited messaging and an easy way to send pictures as well as videos and text messages. Teenagers often use this app to share pictures, GIFs and even their own sketches within the app. Teens also tend to prefer these sorts of apps for group chats, because it is just easier all around.
Young people who use Kik can really run into trouble when they share their Kik username on social media. There are quite a few different social networking sites that teenagers use, and posting their Kik details on them can attract the wrong element. It is important that you make sure your kids are not using social networking or media websites to post their username for this instant messaging app.
While some parents might feel uncomfortable about checking their child’s phone, it is really the only way to monitor their Kik activity. It is important to keep in mind that you will only see the last 200 to 1000 messages exchanged between your child and others on this app. The number of messages you can see will depend on the device they are using and whether or not they delete any of their messages.
Even the most comprehensive parental control software cannot monitor Kik, so you will need to do so by going through the app yourself. There are a number of different ways that you can help your child to use Kik safely, such as by helping them choose a unique username. Just like when creating a password, it is also very important to select a username that is only used for Kik and nothing else. You should also make sure that your child does not post their Kik username on social media or networking websites ever.
Its time to talk to your Child about Kik App
You will also want to instruct your child to ignore unwanted contacts. If your teenager receives a message from someone they don’t know, they should always ignore it. Messages from people they do not know will appear in the “New Chats” area. Profile pictures are blurred, and your child will not see the message unless they open it. The best thing that they can do to stay safe is to not open the message and just delete it.
It’s a good idea to tell your child to block and report anyone who tries to harass them via Kik. When they block someone on this app, it hides all of the messages and deletes all conversations tied to the person. The blocked person is removed from their contacts list forever. They can also choose to report someone by simply tapping on their profile picture or sending a message to Kik Support. And while it is true that Kik does not save content, friends can still take screenshots of conversations. Copies of Kik chats can eventually appear on Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. You will want to tell your child to never take any screenshots of the conversations they have with others.
There are lots of potentially dangerous things on Kik that you will need to protect your child from, including Porn Bots. These bots are essentially just automated programs that disguise themselves as real people in an effort to trick users to visit pornographic websites. It’s important that you keep an eye out for these kinds of messages in your child’s Kik account, and talk to them about the dangers associated with clicking the links in these bots’ messages.
Chat Now is one of the many different apps that are linked to in Kik, and it can easily open the door for users outside of your child’s trusted circle of friends to gain access to them. The sheer fact that Kik is designed to be an anonymous instant messaging app definitely makes it all the more attractive for sexual predators. There have been numerous instances of these predators targeting kids on Kik Messenger, so that is something else that you will need to take into consideration.
As a parent it can be frustrating that Kik doesn’t offer any parental controls, but it just means that you will need to stay on top of your child’s usage. While this might seem like quite a bit of work, it is well worth it when you consider the fact that you’ll be keeping your child safe. The dangers of sexual predators online, especially on apps like Kik, are all too real. You will need to make sure that you keep a close eye on their activity on this app so they are able to use it as safely as possible.
Instructing your child on how to use Kik Messenger properly will go a long way towards protecting them, because the fact is that you cannot be looking over their shoulders 24 hours a day. The more you educate your child on this instant messaging app, the safer they will be overall. If you no longer want your child to use Kik, you can always choose to deactivate their account. Doing this is very simple and doesn’t take much time at all. You can always reactivate their account when you feel as though they are old enough to use it again.
There are a lot of different dangers that mobile apps like Kik present for tweens and teens, so it is up to the parents to make sure they are using it as safely as possible. This app is actually rated 17+, though anyone who is at least 13 years of age can use it. A lot of parents have already decided that they do not want their young children to use this app until they get a bit older. If you are going to let your child use this app, you should definitely monitor it carefully so they stay safe and are able to use it properly.