Tag Archives: The Cyber Safety Lady

Kids Messaging App Safety Tips

Kids Messaging App Safety Tips

The biggest danger with messaging apps for younger children is unsupervised conversations, bullying, video privacy safety, sharing adult content, sexting and risk of contact by strangers.

With children using devices more and more to connect during this pandemic, it is essential that parents understand how to encourage their children to use messaging apps with safety.

Some Tips For Parents For Safe Use Of Messaging Apps

  1. Check Age ratings for apps, and reviews on www.commonsensemedia.org first!
  2. Some messaging apps encourage the user to share their user name to social media platforms and to sync their devices’ address book. This is a danger for children due to the extra exposure, and risk your child maybe connected with someone that may not be a suitable chat contact.
  3. Set Privacy Settings To Block Stranger Messages: Not all messaging apps have secure privacy settings, so children may be sent messages directly without a friend request. Instruct children never to accept unknown friend or message contact requests or to answer calls or messages from unrecognised numbers or contacts.
  4. “Lock rooms” when chatting, Zoom/Houseparty. Don’t upload address book or link with other social media apps.
  5. Be sure that location settings have also been disabled for messaging apps for privacy through settings.
  6. Don’t Use Real Names: Ensure your child sets up messaging or gaming accounts with pseudonym user names. Make sure they share user names only with approved friends.
  7. Share a Skype or Apples Messaging account with your younger child to supervise messaging in real time. This way you can see the messages and chat whilst it is taking place. Do let all participants know you are supervising including parents of your child’s friends in the chat. Facebooks Kids Messenger allows parents to supervise contacts and chat requests.
  8. Video chat: Make sure children ask permission to use video chat or voice chat for privacy reasons as background noise/images and your private conversations may be heard by their friends.
  9. Supervision is very important when children are first starting to use messaging apps. Make sure all participants in the chat know that mum or dad are supervising for reasons of full disclosure and respect for privacy
  10. As always keep your child with their device in a family area in the home, rather than in a bedroom or study. Seeing HOW your child is reacting to their screen is vital to maintaining safety.
  11. Have open conversations about how to manage messaging apps, and how to use them safely. Set expectations around use, and behaviour.
  12. Make sure your child knows that they can tell you ANYTHING that they see or experience online not matter what. A safe space to report is vital to be able to protect your child.

Dangerous 18+ Message Apps To Watch Out For

Omegle Mobile

Kik, Yubo and Omegle, are highly dangerous for kids and teens. Any app that publicises that you can “Make New Friends” is a dangerous app. They usually involve random chats with strangers and often allow anonymous unverified accounts. These apps are known for a high probability of grooming by pedophiles and live porn.

Warning: Omegle 18+ has started to gain popularity again recently under a new mobile format. Commonsense Media have rated it as highly dangerous for kids. See below from the linked review

Safest Messaging Apps For Kids

The safest messaging apps for children are ones with privacy settings, and parental controls that actually block messages from reaching your child, where they only get contacted by people they know. No public groups like Discord or Houseparty.

Apple FaceTime and Apple Messenger have good privacy settings and some parental controls. Both have good privacy and security settings used in conjunction with Apples Parental control settings called “Screentime”.

Apples screentime parental controls can manage contacts and friend requests and set time limits for use of the app. See my manual for a simple step by step guide to safety settings for Apple messenger/Facetime and Apple parental controls called Screentime. www.thecybersafetylady.com.au/keepingkidssafeonline

https://www.thecybersafetylady.com.au/keepingkidssafeonline

Apple Messenger and FaceTime only work on Apple devices, for a “cross platform” solution for Android and Apple you can use a shared Skype account that is set up by the parent, who can vet contacts and see messaging in real time, or Facebooks Kids Messenger App.

Kids Messenger from Facebook has been released in more countries this year, including in Australia. This app does not require a child to have a Facebook account. It allows children to “share” the messenger account with an adult who can have contact approval and chat request approval before the child is allowed to connect a new friend, or accept a chat with a friend. Parents can supervise chats and blocking. More Here:

Protect Your Children These Holidays. 

Protect Your Children These Holidays. 

Parents ultimate HOW-TO guide for online privacy and safety settings. Find out where the safety and parental controls are on all the apps and online platforms your family uses. This easy STEP-BY-STEP guide features privacy settings and safety settings for both mobile and P.C. Easy instructions to set up filters to protect your child from adult… Continue Reading

Personalised Cyber Safety Help For Families and Business

Personalised Cyber Safety Help For Families and Business

Personal Cyber Safety Help For Parents or Carers Anywhere at your convenience via Skype or FaceTime Leonie offers a personal consultancy for parents/carers who need help managing their children’s devices. ( please note Leonie does not coach children) Parental controls on mobile devices and computers to restrict your child’s access to dangerous apps and content.… Continue Reading

New Parental Controls For Apple Mac P.C’s Catalina

New Parental Controls For Apple Mac P.C’s Catalina

Apples latest operating system “Catalina” for P.C has a new parental controls feature which carries over from the mobile “Screentime” settings introduced in Apple iOS12. The new “Screentime” feature on Catalina can be used to monitor your own computer usage or to set up the included “Sceentime” parental controls on an Apple P.C. Screentime features… Continue Reading

How To Set Instagram Privacy And Security Settings

How To Set Instagram Privacy And Security Settings

Instagram, one of the MOST popular social media apps in the world, now has many different settings to control what you see, and what others see about you. Instagram, owned by Facebook is a 13+ rated social media photography based app, used extensively by teens and adults. Many teens are very good at moderating their… Continue Reading

How To Book The Cyber Safety Lady For A Talk

How To Book The Cyber Safety Lady For A Talk

Leonie Smith is “The Cyber Safety Lady” Book “The Cyber Safety Lady” For Your School, Business or Event Sydney based, Leonie, is one of Australia’s leading Cyber Safety Experts. She is a registered provider with the Australian Governments Office Of The eSafety Commissioner. Her practical “How To” approach to Cyber Safety gives attendees the tools to help solve issues… Continue Reading

Fortnite: Battle Royale The Online Game Taking The Gaming World By Storm!

Fortnite: Battle Royale The Online Game Taking The Gaming World By Storm!

What parents need to know about this extremely popular online game Fortnite: Battle Royale The Cyber Safety Lady’s Slightly “Clueless Gamer” Style Review Of Fortnite: Battle Royale M or Mature Rated in Australia or “Not Suitable For Under 15 Years” (it is rated 12+ in other countries) I’ve been taking my usual unscientific “hands-up” style… Continue Reading

Detroit: Become Human – What Parents Need To Know

Detroit: Become Human – What Parents Need To Know

 A new video game called “Detroit: Become Human” to be released this year for Playstation 4 is causing quite an outrage, as you can see by this article I’ve linked to. This new game contains scenes involving murder and violent abuse of a child. In a movie, those scenes would be disturbing enough, but in… Continue Reading