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Tips for monitoring apps on your child's phone to give you peace of mind

Posted at 9:04 AM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 15:13:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY — If you have kids with phones, chances are you want to make sure the apps they are using are appropriate. Sarah Kimmel from Family Tech has identified a few apps to be aware of and has a few tricks to help keep your child's phone safe and give you a little peace of mind.

Be Aware Of:
Vault Apps. These look like standard utilities like a calculator or a clock but are actually a hidden storage area for photos and videos.

VPN Apps. When your child installs a VPN app, they can use it to circumvent parental controls on your home network and at the school. So, if the school blocks access to social media sites they can use the VPN to access those sites while on the school's WiFi.

Apps like Omega and Wink allow teens to meet and communicate with strangers online. This can be used for grooming by predators and sharing inappropriate content.

Anonymous Apps. There can be a lot of bullying and inappropriate content on apps like Whisper, YikYak ad Ask.Fm

Regular Social Media Apps. Many people aren't aware of the amount of inappropriate content that is readily available on Pinterest, Twitter, Discord and more. Make sure if you allow social media applications you are monitoring their interactions.

Live Streaming. While some channels might be OK, there isn't a way to filter most live streaming applications, so they can easily come across inappropriate content.

Tips:
Make sure all apps that are installed require approval first. You can do this on iOS through Screen time and Family Sharing, and Android uses Google Family Link.

Look at the age recommendation on the app or play store, read the description of what the app is and does, check out ESRB for more details and Common-Sense Media.

For more information fallow Sarah Kimmel on all social media platforms at @FamilyTech .