After a recent string of arrests involving potential child predators, authorities warn parents to closely monitor your children's internet activities especially when if comes to phone apps. Some of which allow users to hide and even delete photos, videos, and text messages that could be coming from people far older.

The Sarasota Sheriff's Department compiled a list of several apps parents should be aware that could make your child vulnerable to predators.

  1. 'Grindr' is an alternative livestyle dating app that allows users to share photos and meet up based on phone’s GPS location and is supposed to be for adults 18+.
  2. Holla' is all about connecting strangers around the world through video chat with no age limits or content restrictions.
  3. 'WhatsApp' and 'SnapChat' are for messaging, but what you should know is teens can send unlimited messages, have video chats and even share their live location with other users, people they may not even know.
  4. 'MeetMe,' an app where teens can easily be in contact with users much older than them, with an emphasis on dating.
  5. 'TikTok' is used for sharing user created videos also with no age limits or restrictions
  6. 'Badoo' and 'Bumble' are dating apps for adults, but teens can still find ways to join.
  7. 'Skout' is a flirting app that's used to meet and chat with new people. Teens and adults are in different groups, but ages aren’t verified.
  8. 'Kik' is specifically for kids, but anyone can join and anyone can contact or direct message your child.
  9. 'LiveMe' is a live streaming app, but you don’t know who’s watching and your kids location is revealed.
  10. 'Whisper' is a social confessional where kids can remain anonymous, but still share their feelings. And it can reveal your child’s location for a meet up.

In an interview with CBS, Sheriff Tom Knight warned that “Unfortunately, the internet allows for easy and anonymous access to children by strangers who are hiding behind a computer screen.”

Since I pay my child's phone bill, I have NO PROBLEM going through their phone and other stuff to make sure nothing funny is going on. I toss their rooms regularly like a prison warden looking for anything suspicious.

If your child has any of these apps on their phone, tablet, or other electronic device, don't hesitate to talk to them about the potential dangers with using them. And if you notice any suspicious activity that might involve a child predator or sex-trafficker, call the police immediately!

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