What Parents Should Know about Kik Messenger
Nowadays, social platforms and messenger apps play a vital role to stay in a loop with friends around the world. Kik is a well-known smartphone messenger app for teens that you may hear about. Like any other messenger app, Kik isn’t 100% safe. So, parents may worry about cyber security while teens use the Kik app.
For this reason, we recommend legal guardians know about Kik’s features, settings, privacy, safety, and other important things before allowing teens to install it. This article will guide parents about the Kik messenger app and helpful tips to assure your teens’ safety while using Kik. So, let’s get started.
What is Kik Messenger?
Kik is a popular messenger application for pre-teens and teens to chat with each other. This smartphone application is free to download. It’s available for Android, iPhone, and Windows-supported phone devices. Anyone above 13 years old can create an account here using his/her phone number.
The Kik messenger app was developed by a group of passionate students at the University of Waterloo in 2009. Now it has more than 300 million registered users and 15 million monthly active users. Kik’s annual revenue is around 1 to 1.5 billion dollars.
This app allows sending texts, videos, pictures, GIFs, sketches, and much more. So, by installing this app, teenagers can use it for versatile purposes like education, communication, and entertainment. It also lets users go in Live. You can contact anybody having the app.
Is Kik Messenger App Safe for the Kids?
The Kik smartphone app was developed for teens ages 13 to 18 years old. So, anyone above 13 years old can use it. But, children below the age limit can’t create a Kik account here due to the age restrictions. Even for teens, getting permission from parents or legal guardians before registering an account is recommended.
Like other platforms, there are online predators who may send adult content or criminal activities without any permission which could be dangerous for kids. So, Kik messenger is not safe for children.
Why Parents Should Be Aware of Kik App
Kik messenger app has lots of stunning features, however, there are some risks. This is why parents should know the harmful things about the app before allowing teens to install Kik on their phones.
- Unauthorized chatting is common in Kik as anyone using Kik can send messages to other users without their permission. This could be dangerous as criminals may communicate with teens anonymously and could mislead them.
- Although, Kik isn’t a dating app, still, sex offenders may harass teens by sending sexual content. Even though there are different groups and people who promote nudity that isn’t safe for teens.
- Online predators might also steal users’ personal information.
Are there Parental Controls on Kik?
Actually, there isn’t any parental control explicitly in Kik. But you will find different settings and filters here to reduce the risks of teens and users from the potential dangers.
Install Parental Control App on Teen’s Smartphone
To monitor the teenagers’ activities with whom they’re chatting or communicating, parents should install a parental control app on teens’ phones. This will let you know what the older children are doing on smartphones and within the Kik app. If they do any wrong, you will get notified to take proper action.
Filter the Kik Chat App
The Kik app recommends parents do the following things to limit the activity of teens within the app.
- Usernames: When registering a Kik account, tell teens to use a hard-to-guess username. Also, tell them not to share the username with unknown persons.
- Strong password: Take access to the teen’s Kik account and secure it by putting strong passwords combining the uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, etc. You can change it from settings> my account> change password.
- Use phone contacts: This is an optional feature in Kik. If teens turn on the feature, people in their phone contact list (either saved by phone number or email address) will get a notification that they have a Kik account. Similarly, teens can recognize their known persons.
- Mute or leave a video chat: In the Kik app, there is a feature ‘New Chat’. When any user sends a message to your teen for the first time, they will get a notification and see these under ‘New Chat’. If teens don’t know the person mute or leave them.
- Reporting and blocking users or inappropriate groups: If you see any unknown user or inappropriate group in your teen’s profile block them for safety reasons. Also report the users, who send violent or sexual content.
What Can Parents Do to Prevent Their Kids from Kik?
To keep children away from the Kik app, you can do the following things.
- The first and foremost thing is to educate your children about the dangers of the Kik app and cyber security.
- Use a good parental control app to monitor and control kids’ activities on phones. If you see they’re trying to install the Kik app, disapprove it.
- If kids have already installed it using any fake birth date, uninstall the Kik app manually.
- Set restrictions on the privacy settings of the smartphone so kids can’t download the Kik app in the future.
Kik messenger app is a good communication platform. But there are some risks that every parent should consider before allowing teens to use it. The main thing to protect teens from its dangers is making them aware of cyberbullying.
It’s recommended to install a third-party parental control app, avoid chatting with unknowns, customize settings as mentioned above, etc to create a safer Kik platform for teens. And if teens face any harassment contact Kik’s help center soon.