If Your Kid Has an App Called 'Kik' on Their Phone, Delete It Now

When you are worried about something that's become popular with tweens and teens, it's easy to come across to your kids as meddling or a killjoy. But your job as a parent is to do just that -- not to be their friend. Which is why I urge every parent to check their kids' phones for an app called Kik

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Kik is a messaging app that is not always tied to your cell phone number, so it allows its users a lot more anonymity. It allows teens to send messages online without alerting their parents.

I'm not an alarmist. I tend to believe the kids are all right. But there are just too many instances of cases where Kik was used by predators to engage in contact with young people. A man in Alabama was charged with statutory rape and attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl he contacted on Kik. A man in St. Louis used Kik to exchange child pornography. And a Colorado man took a 13-year-old girl to a hotel room and sexually assaulted her after meeting her on Kik. 

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The horrible murder of Nicole Madison Lovell by two Virginia Tech freshmen happened after she chatted with an 18-year-old man she met on the app. Kik claims that over 40 percent of teens use their app to communicate. And 240 million users from 230 different countries have signed up for Kik. if you have kids at home, chances are they have it. Until the company adds more features to keep its users safe and you can be absolutely sure who your kids are using it to chat with, I think deleting it from their devices is the safest bet. 

 

Image via ponsulak/Shutterstock

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