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Arkansas attorney general warns parents to monitor child's social media, apps

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a list of apps that could be dangerous for children and tips for parents to better monitor online activity.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is alerting parents across the state to monitor their child's online activity in the instance of "bullying, anonymous messaging and exploitation of children by criminals."

In addition to the warning, Rutledge included a list of apps that could be dangerous for children and provided tips for parents to better monitor online activity.

"While technology can be an invaluable resource for learning, it can also expose your child to criminal or inappropriate activity," Rutledge said. "It is important we all take the necessary steps to protect our most precious Arkansans from those who want to do them harm."

According to Rutledge, there are several apps that if not used properly or if minors falsify their age in order to use them, could lead to dangers.

List of apps for parents to monitor according to AG Rutledge:

  • Bumble – Bumble is a popular dating app that requires women to make the first contact.
  • Chatous – Chatous is a messaging app that allows users to chat and share images.
  • Discord – Discord is a voice and text chat tool that allows gamers to communicate in real time. Users can chat and add friends one-on-one or in larger groups.
  • Grindr – Grindr is a dating app for LGBTQ adults. The app gives users options to chat, share photos and meet with people based on a smartphone’s GPS location.
  • Houseparty – Houseparty is a group video chat app that allows users to communicate via live video chats and texts.
  • Live.Me – Live.Me allows users to livestream videos using geo-location to share the videos so other users can find the broadcaster’s exact location.
  • Monkey – Monkey is an app that allows users as young as 12 to chat with people all over the world during a brief introductory call.
  • Phony Calculator App – Most phones have a calculator. However, there are many third-party calculator apps that actually serve as a “vault” where the user can hide photos, videos, files and even browser history data.
  • Snapchat – Snapchat is a photo & video sharing app that promises users their photo or video will disappear even though it does not. Snapchat stories allow users to view content for up to 24 hours and share their location.
  • TikTok – TikTok is a popular app among kids that is used to create and share short videos with limited privacy controls.
  • Tinder – Tinder is a dating app that allows users to “swipe right” to like someone and “swipe left” to pass.
  • Tumblr – Tumblr is a blogging app and website that allows users as young as 13 to create an account.
  • WhatsApp – WhatsApp is a popular messaging app allowing users to text, send photos, make calls and leave voicemails worldwide.
  • Whisper – Whisper is a social network that allows users to share secrets anonymously and it reveals the users’ location.
  • Yik Yak – Yik Yak is a social media app that allows an individual to anonymously chat with other app users within a 5-mile radius.
  • YouTube – YouTube is a video sharing app. Inappropriate content can be found using innocent search terms, but with parental controls this can be avoided.
  • Yubo – Yubo is a social media app that allows users as young as 13 to create a profile, share their location, view other users’ profiles in their area and view livestreams.

Rutledge also included tips for parents to use in an effort to further monitor their child's online activity, such as:

Tips on monitoring online safety:   

  • Talk to children about sexual victimization and the potential of online danger.
  • Keep the computer or laptop in a common room of the house, not in a child’s bedroom.
  • Utilize parental controls available from internet service providers or use blocking software.
  • Always maintain access to a child’s online account and monitor text, email and other message inboxes.
  • Teach children the responsible use of online resources.
  • Familiarize yourself with computer safeguards being utilized at school, the library and at friends’ homes.
  • Never automatically assume that what a child is told online is true.

Arkansans can report child exploitation by calling the National CyberTipline at (800) 843-5678 or visiting CyberTipline.com. In the event of an emergency, dial 911, or call local law enforcement.

For more information on Rutledge's alert, click here.

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