These are 5 of the most dangerous apps for children

Elizabeth Smith

Letting children use the phone may seem like an obvious decision today, but it turns out to be very risky. At certain ages it is not possible to know and discern the dangers of the internet, which are so many.In particular, we should keep them away from some apps.

The most dangerous apps for children

If you want to prevent your children, who are still young and incapable of discerning online content, from ending up in the chaotic mare magnum of the web, it is good to pay attention to some applications.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and similar

We must not and cannot beat around the bush. Social networks made to connect people were never intended for children. Recently they try to include them, but it is a deception: they are anything but a safe place for them.

We include all the most common ones, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Social media changes social relationships for the worse and generates the need for social approval, ostentation and isolation. The effect grows on adolescents, and finally on children it can be devastating, so much so that one country is considering the possibility of banning social media for children under 16.

TikTok, but also YouTube

TikTok is halfway between a social network and a content platform, but it is just as dangerous for children, if not more so. It is based on very short videos, often without important content, useful only for killing time.

Its operation can lead users, especially the little ones, to spend a lot of “useless” time on the app. You go from one very short video to another, watching thousands of them, as each small video translates into a kind of immediate reward for the brain, achieved without any effort.

This is what pushed the mayor of New York to define these social networks as an environmental toxin. The accusation is strong: “These companies are fueling a mental health crisis because they design their platforms with dangerous and addictive features.” Another American politician denounces that this business model hooks children with “dangerous doses of dopamine”.

Ask.fm

Ask.fm is a site and app that has been around for quite some time. It’s not a real social network “through and through”. But what it does can be very dangerous for children due to some logic that is really too adult-like.

The main objective of Ask is, as the name suggests, to ask. Inside it is possible to ask questions, even anonymously, in order to receive answers from various users and followers, who are also mostly covered by total anonymity.

For children and adolescents there are many dangers and the first is cyberbullying. It doesn’t take much to become the subject of offensive and insulting responses that make the person who asked a question feel bad, also because you can’t see the interlocutors and even blocked people can view the questions. To be avoided completely.

Calculator%

With Calculator% the risk is different, because it does nothing dangerous in itself and negative things come from its use. It is an app for iOS that appears like a simple calculator. Instead, it’s a container of private files, invisible from everywhere else on the phone.

By entering a code into the calculator, Calculator% gives you access to a small internal archive where you can hide anything. And of course, it is often used to hide files that you shouldn’t keep.

If a parent finds this app on their child’s phone, it means that the child is hiding something from them. At this point a check must be carried out for dangerous content, the relationship between the two must be improved and perhaps the age at which children should buy their first smartphone should also be reviewed.

Snapchat and other messaging apps

Lastly, let’s mention instant messaging apps, the dangers of which are clear: talking to threatening strangers, being the victim of cyberbullying in groups or exchanging prohibited content.

The riskiest is Snapchat, due to its function of deleting photos and videos after a few minutes. Whatever content was exchanged, no trace remains. Children and teenagers feel free to send each other things that they wouldn’t usually send and it can end up in a bad situation. In addition, this can also involve very subtle marketing operations and theft of personal data.

A similar discussion involves other chats. The risks are minor, but even on WhatsApp and Telegram you have to be careful: there are many cases of messages from strangers or secret groups for prohibited content. Better not to leave uncontrolled chats to children.

Read also: Is technology in childhood a blessing or a curse? All the pros and cons

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