Why Snapchat Should Terrify You

Children have more ways than ever before to communicate with their friends and family. While living in the digital age has its advantages, parenting in the digital age can be a difficult and confusing process. Each day many apps are added to digital stores. Whether your child is using an iPhone, a tablet, and iPod or an Android device, he or she has access to thousands upon thousands of applications. While many of them are harmless, there are a few apps that pose a significant risk to your child. Snapchat, is one app that, on the surface, may seem innocent enough, but can be extremely harmful.

What is Snapchat? 

Read More »

An Inside Look at Picture-Sharing Site Photobucket

Photobucket is a popular, free photo hosting site for people 14 and up. Users can upload and manage photos and videos, share images on blogs and social networks, and interact with the community of Photobucket users.

How does Photobucket work?

Users can upload and edit their photos and videos through Photobook, and share them by email or linking to their social networking accounts. They can also enter photos in contests, put them in categories of like images with other users, follow other users, or see how many people have looked at their pictures. They can search for images by keyword and leave comments on other users' pictures.

Read More »

Anonymous Message App Yik Yak Faces Backlash From An Entire City

We have provided a few resources to you about the new anonymous app Yik Yak and how it is dangerous for tweens and teens. Now one entire city has taken notice of its danger and responded by disabling and discouraging kids from using this app. At least 4 schools in the Chicago region have issued warning about this dangerous app that is so often used for cyberbullying. We applaud these schools that are stepping up to protect their students. 

Read More »

All About Yik Yak, the Newest Viral App

There is a new app on the block for Android and Smartphone users. The app, Yik Yak, allows users to post anonymous comments and thoughts. The app also takes into account the geographical location of the phone, using the location services of iPhone and Android phones to feed users comments that have been posted close by. The purpose of the app is to start anonymous conversation, but in the age of digital parenting it can be seen as far more sinister. 

Yik Yak and It's Growth 

Yik Yak debuted on Google Play in January of 2014, and entered the iPhone market in December of 2013. Since its introduction to each platform it has grown quickly. It is currently listed as the 70th most popular social networking app on the Apple App store. It has been downloaded over 6,000 times from the Google Play store and is growing by 38% each month. The free application offers young adults a platform to comment and chat anonymously with those around them. Because the application uses a phone's location services to find where the comments are being posted from, it also allows users to see comments from people that are close to them, often within a few blocks or even feet from them. The location aspect of the application has made it increasingly popular with young users, specifically those in middle school and high school, even though the application insists it is only intended for people over the age of 17. While the application restricts the age, in theory, the entire interface is skewed towards young users, with a colorful interface, cartoon-like graphics, and an easy to navigate platform. 

Yik Yak's Policies and Guidelines 

According to the rules and regulations of Yik Yak, users are to be aged 17 or older. Bullying, according to the app developers is strictly prohibited, and users are also prohibited from posting full names and phone numbers in their comments. Inappropriate content can be tagged for removal, but opponents of the app claim that content is not being monitored, nor are the users that are currently logged into Yik Yak. If someone wishes to have inappropriate comments removed it can be done in one of two ways;

  • Two users can flag the content for removal. If two flags are received the content is removed.  

  • A single user can send a screenshot to Yik Yak and the team will consider the comment for immediate removal. 

Read More »

Digital Parenting: Social Media Networks to Watch Out For in 2014

Raising teens can be an uphill battle sometimes. You want to be a fair, and respect boundaries. This will give them freedom to make their own choices, and learn from their mistakes. Yet, it's your responsibility as a digital parent to protect your kids as best you can.

Popular Social Media Networks Teens Use

Every parent has heard of Facebook and Twitter. Most even have their own profiles on one or both. But, would you be shocked to find out that your teen is probably using social media networks you probably know nothing about? Here's a list of just some of the most popular social media site teens used in 2013:

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • Tumblr

  • Meetme

Read More »

Guest Interview: Akilah Thompson, Cyberbullying Prevention

For the month of October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we are posting interviews we conducted with some of the most influential people in the cyberbullying prevention space. The next in the series involves Akilah C. Thompson, Founder and President of ACT Inspires Inc. and Generations Inspired Inc.

uKK: What is the nature of your expertise on cyberbullying?

AT: As an inspirational speaker, I work with teenagers as well as college students and have learned a lot about cyberbullying directly from them and conducting research on the subject to find solutions.  I am also actively involved on social media and have witnessed the impacts of bullying over the Internet. I was a bully myself growing up due to low self esteem and strive to assist young people with tools to be confident in all areas of their lives to avoid being victims of bullying. I have facilitated trainings, workshops, open forums and seminars that focus on cyberbullying, bulling and the proper use of social media.

uKK: What do you believe is the number one thing that can be done to draw attention to and prevent this trend?

AT: There are several things that can be done but I believe the first thing is to hold social media sites accountable for facilitating cyberbullying.

Read More »

11 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to After Facebook

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by Kelly Schryver, Senior Content Specialist at Common Sense Media.

Remember MySpace? Not so long ago, practically every teen in the world was on it -- and then many left for Facebook. Now, as Facebook's popularity among teens is starting to wane, you might be wondering what the new "it" social network is. But the days of a one-stop shop for all social networking needs are over. Instead, teens are dividing their attention between an array of apps and tools that let them write, share, video chat and even shop for the latest trends.

Read More »

Everything You Need to Know About Ask.fm

Social media is a phenomenon that has swept over the youth of the world. With different ways to connect to each other, the appeal is large for these types of sites. The newest that has been on the upward trend is Ask.fm, and it has been for both positive and very negative reasons. Here are some things you need to know about the site overall and some tips on how to prevent bullying and cyberbullying through Ask.fm. 

The Site 

Ask.fm was founded in 2010 in the country of Latvia. It was created as a rival to Formspring and has a similar layout. Users create a profile in which they open themselves up for questions. Some of these questions can be fun and casual, such as “What is your favorite sports team?”

Read More »

Ask.fm a Breeding Ground for Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is not a new concept. Parents around the world understand the importance of monitoring their child's use of the internet, but the constant evolution of social media sites creates an abundance of obstacles for even the most diligent parent. Teenagers have the tendency to stay one step ahead of adults when it comes to finding new avenues of peer interaction on the internet. One dangerous social networking site that many parents may not be aware of is Ask.fm. 

Read More »

Digital Parenting: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Snapchat

Keeping up to date with the evolution of social media can be a challenge for any parent, but familiarizing yourself with the latest trends is a vital part of digital parenting. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular social media outlets, but there are many less known apps that are gaining a large teen following. One app that is taking over social media is Snapchat. Snapchat, which is used largely by teens and young adults, allows its users to send pictures to their friends that self-destruct after they are viewed. Unfortunately, the promise of a picture disappearing is not entirely true. The person receiving the photo can choose to take a screenshot of it. Even though the sender is notified the screenshot was taken, once the recipient has acquired the photograph how they choose to use the image is out of the original senders hands.

With the allure of a picture vanishing once it is viewed, Snapchat has become an app that is widely used for taking photos of a sexual natures. While parents are aware of sexting by text message, they may not realize their teens have found a new way to send inappropriate images of themselves. Snapchat's advertising as a self-destructing photo app has created a false sense of security in teens and young adults. The reality that the receiver of the image can take a screenshot of the photo and use it any way they want without the senders consent is a consequence a teen may not fully comprehend.

Read More »

Digital Parenting: Get Tangled Up in Vine

Digital parenting is an increasingly important part of raising kids today, and rightfully so. Most parents want their kids to be able to stay in touch with their friends and family and share what inspires them through different mediums. 

Doesn't it seem like just about everyone has at least one social media account today? They are so pervasive, and slip themselves into every corner of life, that just this morning I found myself going to Twitter to find out the news on the latest updates in the Boston Marathon bombing. And I was amazed at all the information I had from multiple sources in one location.

Speaking of Twitter, you might not have heard about its latest social network project that has been increasingly gaining popularity among teens, tweens, videographers, people who want to be in the know about the latest social network, and Vine is the newest sharing tool. Being able to share favorite videos and photos is always fun, but parents need to know exactly what it involves.

Read More »

Cyberbullying: Why Spillit Needs To Be On Your Radar

The internet and mobile devices are continually evolving. New applications and websites are developed each day and shared with the world. While many fade into obscurity or into their niche worlds, others truly take off and become more than just another app. While many of these trendier applications are meant for good, their impact and effects can be very detrimental and harmful. One of the newest applications available is known as Spillit, an application that has become as much about cyber-bullying as it has social connection. The following explains more about this new application and why parents, adults, and children should all be aware of its potential dangers.

What Is It?

Spillit is an application that has users create a login name and password to participate on the site. The ultimate goal of the page is to ask other users what they think about that individual. With a limited number of characters, other frequenters to a user’s page can answer the question. This is meant to help learn about each other and create a social connection via the page.

Read More »

YouTube Plays On Your Child’s Curiosity (and Not In a Good Way)

On YouTube, videos of fluffy kittens or a singing mouse can quickly take a child down a “rabbit hole” and a journey to explicit videos.  According to one study, children on YouTube can typically get to inappropriate material such as nudity and violence in only three clicks. 

Take Rastamouse, a popular children’s cartoon on YouTube, for example. While watching this child-friendly material, the viewer can scroll through “Suggested” videos on the right side of the webpage. These “Suggestions” range from more cutesy cartoons to music videos with vulgar language to other inappropriate things.

Read More »

Why Pheed will Replace Your Child's Facebook and Instagram

Pheed is the latest in social media and is positioned to replace Facebook and Instagram in the near future. Why? Because it offers so much more sharing options than Facebook, Youtube and Instagram combined and some of its features will make your online parenting harder. 

What is Pheed?

Pheed is a social media app that is available only on iPhones and online. Soon, it will also be available on Android phones, as well. If your child accesses Pheed using only their phone, any online parenting software that you use to track your child's social media usage will be useless. This could be a major draw for kids who have their own phones. 

Each user gets what is called a "channel" which is much like Facebook's wall. Users can post their information for everyone to see, or they can close their channel. If a user closes their channel so that only certain people can see it, they have the option of charging other users to view the channel. This can be a highly attractive feature for younger users who may let the wrong users see their channels all in the name of making a profit. 

Read More »

Digital Parenting: All About The Video-Sharing App Keek

Digital media is now a mundane part of our lives and our children's lives. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all part of a completely personalized social media experience. In the digital landscape however, if there is any certainty, it is change. With the proliferation of devices that include cameras in their architecture -- smartphones, tablets, even the upcoming Google Glass -- it was only a matter of time before social media evolved from the use of such archaic means of communication as text, to the immediate, more entertaining and more communicative format of personalized videos. Of course, Youtube first popularized videos, but for the most part it has not streamlined in a manner consistent with social media. Why take the time to say in a paragraph that takes five minutes to write, what you feel, when you can utilize the full nuance of human expression to say exactly what you feel exactly when you feel it? 

This is the concept behind Keek which aspires to be the twitter of video social media. Rather than a text message format such as Twitter or a picture-based message board like Facebook, Keek offers users the ability to record and post microvideos up to 36 seconds in length at any time and from anywhere that is internet connected.  Just as with other social media services, you can subscribe to other users, post video updates and even respond to other users either via text or via video responses otherwise known as “Keekbacks”.  Keek also offers hash tagging similar to Twitters format which the site calls “Klusters”. Just as with Twitter, Klusters allow Keekers to find Keeks and other Keekers which apply to their interests.

Read More »

Cyberbullying Watch: Everything You Need to Know About Ask.fm

The Age of Digital Parenting

Parenting kids in this modern age comes with challenges that our own parents never had to face. The advent of the internet presents modern parents and their children with unlimited opportunities, both good and bad. One of the main challenges that you face as a modern parent is keeping your child safe online. That makes knowledgeable digital parenting one of the most important components of being a responsible parent these days. The tween and teen years have always been fraught with angst, raw emotion, and social upheaval; it's just a natural part of making the transition from child to adult, but the internet has created a new level of trouble for this already fragile time. 

Read More »

YouTube Has Taken Over As The New MTV - Is That Bad?

When we were teenagers, MTV was the way we found out about new music and watched the latest hit videos. It was cool, and even better, it irritated our parents. MTV is still around today, but our kids are living in a world that is constantly evolving, and that includes music. Could YouTube, commonly known as a popular video-sharing site, be on its way to becoming the next MTV?

It's no secret that the face of music is changing. The way kids seek it out is changing, too. Do you remember collecting tons and tons of CDs? Only 50% of today's teens say they even listen to music on CDs. Radio is still primarily how they learn about new music, but music listening sites like Pandora and Last.fm abound. They allow kids to make personalized radio stations, create channels of their favorite songs and artists, and discuss music with other users.

Read More »
We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
Try Bark's award-winning  monitoring service free for 7 days

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all