Kik messenger has become famous for being a problematic app for children of all ages, even teenagers. The anonymity that the app provides its users lends itself to sexual grooming, stalking, and sexual predators. Is Kik really a creepy app, or is it just misunderstood? Read the rest of this article to learn more about the true nature of Kik, what alternatives you can find for your child, and answer the question: Is Kik safe?
The Risks of Kik for Kids
Even though many adults use Kik as a dating app, it exposes children to many different dangers. The app claims that children under 13 years old are prohibited from having a Kik account. But there’s no way that the app can make sure of it. Kik’s dangers are usually more than normal instant messaging apps. Here are some of the most important risks of Kik for kids.
Anonymous Chat on Kik
All you need to create a Kik account is an email address. In the app, users can send messages to strangers randomly. This can be to find sexting buddies or engage in sexual acts on Kik. This itself is a safety risk since sexual predators can easily connect with children and engage in Kik sexting. There’s no telling what inappropriate content a sexual predator might send your child on the app. Pornography and other adult content might be exchanged on the platform.
Sexual Grooming on Kik
Sexual grooming is an illegal act performed by predators on the internet. The difference between sexual grooming and harassment is that the child isn’t bothered by the predator and might sometimes, in fact, enjoy the conversation. The predator builds trust in a relationship with the child. This is only possible through a platform that allows connection to strangers and even sending sexts (sexual text messages).
No Data is Collected
Though normally, the fact that an app doesn’t store users’ personal information is a good thing, in the case of Kik it isn’t. This is because many children are at risk of being exposed to sexual predators on the platform. Even if authorities had a warrant for investigation, they couldn’t investigate any users.
The Cesspool of Kik
All sorts of people use Kik. However, because of its anonymous nature, Kik users don’t use their real names or profile pictures. All that’s needed to get on Kik is a username. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that every anonymous platform has a dark underbelly. So, who makes up the cesspool of Kik?
Various news outlets such as CBS have pointed out how easy it is for predators to contact children and stalk them through Kik. In fact, there are multiple accounts of this happening on the platform. Anonymous platforms like Kik attract sexual predators because, according to what a sexual predator told CBS News, “it’s a safe haven for predators.”
How to Keep Kids Safe
There are a few ways you can help your children stay safe on Kik.
See Who They Talk to
If your child wants to have access to this highly problematic messaging platform, it’s only fair that you can check their messages. Reason with your child and tell them about the dangers of Kik and other anonymous platforms so they understand they can only use it if they let you see who they’re messaging. Kik is not safe to send pictures or to message others anonymously.
Find an Alternative
There’s too much drama involved with Kik and if your child is using it, it’ll be too worrying an issue. There are many different messaging apps on the market right now, there are even great safe messaging apps for kids as well.
Alternatives to Kik
Here are a few alternatives for messaging services your child can use instead of Kik.
WhatsApp is a pure messaging app with a clean and intuitive interface that allows users to navigate easily. It’s owned by Facebook and is the most used messaging application in over 100 countries. When it comes to comparison, we could say that Kik isn’t safer than WhatsApp.
Messenger is another popular messaging app that you can use instead of Kik. It’s owned by Facebook and has safer features than what Kik offers, such as video calls, voice calls, and group chats.
WeChat is another popular messaging app that you can use instead of the Kik app. It’s owned by Tencent and has many features such as video calls, voice calls, and group chats.
Kik is one app kids should not have because of the risk of inappropriate content. It can also be used as a sexting app. Its users keep their identities anonymous, and strangers can message each other randomly. This all helps the app become a safe haven for sexual predators.
Parents should keep an eye on their child’s screen activity whether it’s on Kik, sextfinders, or other platforms. Children should learn to never share their photos, videos, addresses, or phone numbers with strangers online. By using a parental control app like Safes, you can monitor and control your child’s screen time. You can download the app’s iOS or Android version right now. Parents can also use the parental controls on children’s phones such as iPhone’s parental controls or the parental controls on Android.