As parents, we all want to have a safe, fun way to message our kids when were' not together. There are a ton of options for letting a kid text their parents or friends. However, most of these are simply not safe and some are downright dangerous. Unfortunately, most of these methods are really easy to setup, use, and get started compared to a kid-safe messaging app like Kids In Touch. Please do NOT throw away your child's safety by trading it for convenience and ease of use.
Please follow along while I explain why your child should only use a kid-safe texting app.
But why do these adult oriented messaging apps limit their use to people 13 years old or above? The answer is, "It's the law." Most countries have a law similar to the United States' Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that regulates apps and websites and how they interact with children under the age of 13. By letting your kid use an app that doesn't comply with COPPA regulations, you have none of the rights nor privacy protections that COPPA grants you. By signing your kid up to use an app designed for 13+, you loose the following rights and protections:
All service providers that allow young children to use their apps/websites must comply with COPPA or face severe penalties. Using a 13+ app means they are free to do anything they like with the information your child provides and limits your ability to remove potentially damaging content.
Using apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line and others limit your ability as parents to protect your child online.
There are many apps targeted at 13+ that are unsafe for adults, let alone young kids. One example app, Kik, has proven to be extremely dangerous for anyone. In a recent investigation, a Toronoto police detective impersonated a 13 year old girl on Kik. Within 30 seconds of registering to use the app , "she" was contacted by complete strangers and asked for personal information and photos!
Many other social media apps like SnapChat, Whisper, YikYak, etc. are unsafe for other reasons. These apps offer "ephemeral messaging". Once a text/picture is sent, they "disappear" never to be seen again. Kids using these apps suffer from increased bullying and sexting solicitations. Because the messages disappear, kids might be under the false impression that their sexting photos won't be shared or saved. This is absolutely not the case. Parents need to take steps to ensure their kids can't even access these apps , let alone register and begin using them.
If you'd like to text with your child over Wifi and without a real cell phone, you need a kid-safe texting app like Kids In Touch. Because Kids In Touch is COPPA compliant, you can rest assured that your child will never see ads, never be profiled, and never have their personal information shared or sold to any outside party.
Kids in Touch also allows you as the parent to instantly review all photos, videoes, and texts your child sends. Most importantly, Kids In Touch prevents your child from texting with anyone you have not already approved. As a parent, you are in charge of who your child can interact with. There is no risk of stranger danger.
Yes, Kids In Touch is a bit tougher to setup and manage than other texting apps. However, you need to take the time to ensure your child is learning texting and social media in a fun but safe environment. If you educate them properly now, you will avoid years of future problems.
Kids In Touch is Training Wheels for Texting