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Are your foster kids at risk? New smartphone apps to watch out for

New apps come out almost every day, but how do you know which ones are suitable for children? Whereas some have age limits or are generally no-go zones, others are safe in themselves but get abused by trolls. It can be hard to tell.

Luckily, the West Midlands Police and Ofsted keep a list of over 100 apps to be aware of. You’ll find it in full at the end of the article, but first, let’s take a look at a few trending now.

New apps to be aware of

Lovoo
This dating app uses the location of your child’s smartphone – and therefore your child – to search for nearby people to engage in private chats with. It also has a paid VIP option that lets users look at your profile anonymously so you don’t know if they’ve seen your photos and details. Definitely not for children.

Woozworld
Although it’s generally an innocent gaming app – letting your child fashion a character and do quests in a virtual world – Woozworld’s chat features could be abused by dishonest people. There’s no accountability as you only need a parent’s email address to sign up, and there’s no way of telling who strangers really are.

That being said, the game itself is fine for children. If you’re happy for them to play, advise them to only chat with people they know and to never give out any personal information. If strangers start talking to them, they should speak to you immediately.

Monkey
An app that lets you Facetime with randomly selected strangers, Monkey is by its nature risky business. There’s no telling what someone will be doing when their live video feed starts playing on your screen, so there’s no way of preventing inappropriate images.

In addition, because users can follow each other on SnapChat after connecting on Monkey, what starts as a random encounter could escalate with sustained contact. Another app that’s not for children.

A great app for parents: Gallery Guardian

Many children take inappropriate photos of themselves without thinking about the consequences. But with Gallery Guardian, an app that detects nudity in images, you’ll know if it ever happens.

If your child takes or is sent an explicit photo, or downloads one from the internet, an alert is sent to your smartphone so you can deal with the problem. The app has a 96% success rate so it’s well worth getting.

More apps that could cause problems

Don’t panic if you find a child using these apps, it could be perfectly harmless. Just make sure you look them up on Google to find out exactly what they involve. Search for: “Is [app name] suitable for my children?” Then talk to whoever’s using them so they understand the risks and the right way to behave.

Content sharing apps

4Chan
DeviantArt
Dubsmash
Foursquare
House Party
KamStar
Keek
Live.ly
Live.me
Medium
Musical.ly
MyMFB
Peach
Periscope
Pheed
Reddit
Renren
Secret Piano
Slingshot
Vimeo
VK
Weibo
Wishbone
Yellow Friends
YouNow

Dating apps

Badoo
Blendr
Down
Fuzz
Gaydar
Grindr
Guy Spy
HookedUp
Hornet
Hot or Not
Huggle
MeetMe
Meetup
MyLOL
Skout
Snog
Swipe Flirts
Teenber
Tinder
Twoo
W-match
Waplog
Zoosk

Gaming apps

Bin Weevils
Boom Beach
Clash of Clans
Club Penguin
Double Dog
Habbo Hotel
Minecraft
Miniclip
Moshi Monsters
MovieStarPlanet
Roblox
Runescape
Second Life
Steam
Twitch
World of Warcraft
Woozworld
Zgirls

Messaging apps

Ask.fm
Battlenet
BBM
Burn Note
Cake
Chat Avenue
Chatroulette
Curse
Cyber Dust
Dischord
Disqus
FMYLife
GroupMe
ICQ
InstaMessage
Kik Messenger
KK Friends
Line
Live Chat
Meow Chat
Mumble
Omegle
ooVoo
SayHi
Send safe
Secret
Shoutout
Signal
Snapchat
Streamago
Tango
TeamSpeak
Telegram
TigerText
Ventrillo
Viber
Voxer
WeChat
Whisper
Wickr
Yik Yak
Zello PTT
Zobe