Boston Police Publish Parent’s Guide to Apps
The Boston Police Department wants to help parents understand their children’s online world, where entire communities hide behind colorful apps dotting a telephone screen. Published this March, the BDP Parent Internet Safety guide provides a short overview of the major applications (apps) and games used by kids today — and the apps possible pitfalls. The guide summarizes popular apps for social media, gaming, messaging, video sharing, and dating.
Help police officers keep children safe
Compiled by Boston Police officers concerned about the many online platforms kids are accessing while spending extended time online through virtual school, the guide is a great little blueprint for involved parents.
The guide’s top feature is its easy-to-understand description of each site. This simply written guide explains how each app is used, which other apps it links to, the standard number of players (or groups), common slang, and settings designed to hide activity.
For example, Discord’s group chats are referred to as “servers,” so the next time your kid mentions joining a public server, you’ll know he or she’s not talking about a computer program. Instead, they may be chatting with a group of people where anyone is allowed to join, at any time. (How could that go wrong?)
The guide also provides a list of resources for parents interested in educating themselves and their families on how to navigate technology safely.
Popular messaging apps included in the guide are Kik, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. The social media apps included are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Houseparty, and Facebook Messenger Kids. The video-sharing apps YouTube and TikTok are included alongside gaming apps Twitch, Roblox, Fortnite, and Discord. The final category — dating apps — includes Tinder and Omegle. One app falls in the “other” category — Dropbox, as reported by the Boston Globe.
Before WhatsApp, there was Pig Latin, remember?
Kids have always found way to communicate privately. On the internet, most of these apps act as secret rooms where individuals with similar interests can meet and have fun. With a little help from the Boston Police Department, you’ll now be able to monitor these sites without having to ask your child for advice.
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