(WNEM/Meredith) -- Officials are warning parents nationwide about 14 apps that could put children in danger.
The Fairview Park Auxiliary Police Association in Ohio and the Escambia County Sheriff's Office in Alabama said as children get older and start to become more independent, parents should be cautious when deciding what apps to allow children to install on their devices.
Police said there are apps that can be dangerous and can expose children to a range of dangerous content, from bullying to unwanted sexual messages. Some apps can even give strangers the phone's location.
The Fairview Park Auxiliary Police Association has listed a few things you can do to help protect your children:
• Approve every app on your kid’s phone
• Adjust privacy settings
• Talk with your kids about phone use, apps and social media
• Find out what apps are popular in your region
14 apps police said parents should be aware of
BUMBLE is similar to the popular dating app Tinder. However, it requires females to make the first contact in an effort to protect them from unwanted advances by men. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
LIVE.ME is a live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn "coins" as a way to "pay" minors for photos.
ASK.FM is notorious for cyber-bullying issues. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions and get an answer. This app has been linked to the most severe form of cyber-bullying: Business Insider reports that 9 teenage suicides have been linked to cyber-bullying on this app.
SNAPCHAT is one of the most popular apps of 2019. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear, recent features including "stories" allow users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location unless you change your privacy settings.
HOLLA is a self-proclaimed "addicting" video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.
CALCULATOR% is one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history. This app looks like a calculator but functions like a secret photo vault.
KIK allows anyone to contact and direct message a user. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features. KIK gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Keep in mind, this app has built-in apps and web content that would be filtered on a home computer.
WHISPER is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
HOT OR NOT encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of this app is to hook up and rate others based on their looks.
OMEGLE is a free online chat website that promotes chatting anonymously with strangers.
YELLOW is an app designed to allow teens to flirt with each other in a Tinder-like atmosphere.
BURN BOOK posts anonymous rumors about people through audio messages, text messages and photos.
WISHBONE is an app that allows users to compare each other's photos and rate them on a scale.
INSTAGRAM is one of the most popular apps of 2019. Kids are now creating fake accounts and using fake names to hide content from parents. Kids also like to text using Instagram because messages are deleted once a user leaves the conversation.
Police said these are only a few examples of potentially dangerous apps and that parents should look over all apps to see if they offer messaging features.
According to police, monitoring your child’s phone and apps is the best defense against potential predators.