THERE is a new app being targeted to the ‘tween’ markets, and experts are warning parents to be extra vigilant with their children’s phones.
The app in question ‘Musical.ly’ is under the spotlight, along with many others that are causing a concern for parents.
Nobody could have predicted how fast Musical.ly became popular when it was first launched a few months ago.
Targeted predominantly towards girls under 13, it went from ‘nothing to everything’ in the space of a few days and parents almost gave themselves whiplash trying to understand this new ‘thing’ that had consumed their young daughters.
Children upload short clips of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to popular music.
Publicly raised concerns regarding these type of apps are based around that fact that kids tend to mimic what they see and some of the music clips can be inappropriate for young children.
Another concern surfaced is the reality that these clips, that children are uploading, can be misused by the wrong adults.
Computer expert, Gavin Smit has studied networking and ‘cyber-security’.
Mr Smith told News Of The Area, “If there’s one suggestion I’d make that is for parents to take some time to understand the apps their kids are using and ensure privacy settings are turned on and location settings are off.”
“Something as simple as your child making these clips in their school uniform and ‘friending’ people they don’t know is a recipe for disaster,” Mr Smith said.
The other concerning aspect of this particular app is that it’s impossible to delete your account.
The app doesn’t allow it. You can remove the app from your device but your account remains.
No matter how mature your child, no matter how you think you can monitor it, some of these apps are just not worth the risk.
By Rachael VAUGHAN