PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — In today's social media-obsessed world, it seems nearly impossible to keep up with trends and popular apps.
Kids now have access to the world at their fingertips, and not every app has the best actors interacting behind their phone screens. That's why the Pasco County Sheriff's Office recently released a list of 16 apps that it thinks parents should be wary of on their kid's phones.
"Our School Resources Officers put together a list of 16 apps parents should know about! We encourage parents to stay up to date on the different social media apps or games their kids are using and discuss online safety," the sheriff's office tweeted.
The concern for many of the apps on the list is centered around the potential for cyberbullying and explicit content, while others carry the risk of adults interacting with minors, according to law enforcement.
Here's a breakdown of each app, per the sheriff's office's chart:
- Discord: The app allows users to talk to friends and strangers in real-time via voice, text, or video chat while playing video games online. Authorities say reviewers have recently reported the use of racial slurs, explicit content and cyberbullying.
- MeetMe: A dating social media app that connects people based on location. Users are encouraged to meet in person.
- WhatsApp: A messaging app that allows texts, video calls, photo sharing and voicemails with users worldwide.
- Bumble: Similar to Tinder, but requires women to make the first contact. Law enforcement says kids and teens can create fake accounts and falsify their age.
- Live.Me: A live-streaming app that uses geolocation to share videos. The sheriff's office said users can earn "coins" to "pay" minors for photos.
- Ask.FM: The sheriff's office said this app lets users ask anonymous questions and is known for cyberbullying.
- Grindr: A dating app geared toward the LGBTQ community based on user location.
- TikTok: A new app popular with kids lets users create and share short videos. Law enforcement said the app has "very limited privacy controls" and users can be exposed to cyberbullying and explicit content.
- Snapchat: One of the most popular social media apps in the world, Snapchat lets users take and share photos and videos. The app also lets people see your location.
- Holla: This self-proclaimed "addicting" video chat app lets users meet people in seconds. Law enforcement said users have seen racial slurs and explicit content.
- Calculator%: Authorities say this is one of several apps that are used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
- Skout: A location-based dating app that is supposed to prohibit people under 17 from sharing private photos. However, law enforcement says kids can easily create an account with a different age.
- Badoo: A dating and social media app where users can chat and share photos and videos based on location. The sheriff's office says the app is supposed to be for adults only, but they've seen teens create accounts.
- Kik: Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features using this app. Kik "gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime," the sheriff's office said.
- Whisper: An anonymous social network that lets users share secrets with strangers. The sheriff's office says it also shows users' location so people can meet up.
- Hot or Not: The app lets users rate profiles, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. Authorities say the goal of the app is to hook up.