Kids are most precious and special to every parent. They would do anything to keep them safe. For them, their kids’ safety holds utmost importance. Since we are a part of the digital age, parents need to make sure their kids are safe in the online world.
Because of the internet and various social media apps, kids spend several hours glued to their smartphones. Much of that time is spent exchanging messages with friends on WhatsApp. Undoubtedly, WhatsApp is the best instant messaging app so far. It helps you connect and communicate with others over instant messages.
The majority of kids and teens love using WhatsApp to interact with their friends. But, what if they are not interacting with friends but doing something else instead? Can parents trust WhatsApp completely to let their kids use it whenever they want? Is the app even safe enough for kids to use? If the app is safe, why parents are desperately looking for ways to learn how to hack WhatsApp?
Though WhatsApp has introduced several privacy features that ensure a user’s safety on the app, parents cannot let their kids spend a large chunk of their time on it. WhatsApp may be technically safe for users but it can still pose some serious dangers for kids.
In this post, we will discuss all those potential risks and dangers associated with WhatsApp. Every parent needs to be aware of these risks to be able to protect their kids from unwanted harmful situations.
Risks Associated with WhatsApp Use
WhatsApp has several amazing features that make it alluring to kids and teens. It allows them to have individual and group chats, have audio and video calls, exchange photos, videos, GIFs, audio notes, documents, etc. all under a single messaging platform.
However, the app also poses some serious dangers for kids. Below, we have mentioned a few risks associated with WhatsApp use. It is important for every parent and kid to be aware of them.
Cyberbullying is a growing concern for every parent and is becoming widespread on instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp. Kids and teens are most likely to encounter cyberbullying on this app, especially in WhatsApp group chats. When parents choose to remain oblivious to their kids being bullied or bullying someone on the app, it could be too late and then kids would have to face the dire consequences.
Another major risk associated with WhatsApp use for kids is sexting. Apps like WhatsApp entice kids and teens to exchange messages that are sexual in nature. Kids exchange inappropriate photos and videos with others on the app without realizing what could happen to their online reputation when that content is exposed accidentally or deliberately by someone.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp is not capable of regulating such content. Therefore, it is a parent’s responsibility to be aware of what their kids are doing on the app and what sorts of messages they are sharing with others.
WhatsApp is laden with evil-minded people, especially online predators. They are always looking for vulnerable and innocent kids as their targets. They just need to know the phone number of a kid to reach out to them on the app. The majority of predators get to know about a kid’s phone number through WhatsApp groups as they are open to everyone for joining.
When these predators reach out to kids, they send them lovey-dovey messages only to please them and gain their trust. Only after befriending them on the app, they move to the dangerous step. They either demand kids to send them inappropriate photos/videos or persuade them to meet somewhere outside.
Most kids have the habit of sharing their live location with friends in a group chat. Suppose what a predator would do with this information. They would easily know how to find someones location using their cell phone number. That is why it is recommended for kids to enable privacy settings on their app and avoid sharing too much information with everyone on the internet.
Even though WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for all its conversations, it does not protect kids from someone taking screenshots of their private chats. Anyone could grab screenshots of your kid’s private conversations and share them openly with others on the app. Similarly, anyone could download your kid’s private photos and videos as well especially when they are shared in a group.
WhatsApp can be dangerous for kids but once you have an open conversation with your kids about WhatsApp risks and dangers, you can prepare them to battle those dangers. You need to make them understand the importance of enabling privacy settings on the app and teach them to avoid interacting with people they do not know. Last but not least, monitor their WhatsApp chats to protect them from any harmful online danger.