Parents Guide To KikAug 30, 2023
Anonymous texting via an app? That is exactly what the messaging app Kik is.
Social media is a huge part of our lives and communicating with others online is something that everyone does. In the digital world, you can text others via the messaging app included in the phone, dm others through social media apps like Instagram or Twitter, or download messaging apps and communicate through there. In this blog post, we will explore one messaging app that is unique.
What Is Kik?
Kik is a popular messaging app for tweens and teens who like to chat with their friends. Kik has an estimated 240 million users worldwide and the average user spends about 35 minutes on the app per use. Like most other social networks and messaging apps, users must be at least 13 to register for a Kik account. You may have heard of the app, as it got a lot of bad press following the 2016 murder of a Virginia teen, 13, who may have met her killer via the anonymous chat system.
What Makes Kik Unique:
Kik is a messaging app for Android or iPhone used as an alternative to SMS texting. It lets you send texts, pictures, and videos. However, Kik does not need a phone number to message people, only a username.
But, it also offers lots of other mini-apps that let you do everything from exchanging virtual greeting cards to chatting with strangers. Through the app, you can message each other one-on-one or in group chats. In addition, users don’t have to reveal their real name, so it can be totally anonymous. Users can also exchange photos and videos that no one can see, which then disappear from the sender’s phone.
It is more than a messaging app though; you can also access the web from the app and view lots of other content. Content that may or may not be age appropriate. Since the app does not ask for personal information and the interactions are anonymous, it has also become a very popular resource for drug dealers and drug seekers.
Suggestions For Parents:
- Because of its anonymity, Law Enforcement warns that Kik may be a popular and very useful app for sexual predators.
- Remind your teen to only share personal information with people that they already know.
- Block users that you do not know.
- The app recommends users choose a username that is difficult to guess to help minimize contact from strangers.
- Discuss the very real dangers and consequences of trusting strangers online.
- Definitely talk to your teens about this app and decide whether or not it is right for your family.
- If your teen does use this app, ask questions. Why do they need it? There are plenty of other messaging apps out there to choose from.
Parents Guide: Kik
By: Lara Saif, Seasonal PR Intern | Digital4Good
For more information and resources about digital safety, digital citizenship, and digital wellness, visit www.icanhelp.net.
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