It has been discovered through a visit to a QLD school by a top cyber safety expert, Susan Mclean, that at least 25 grade 2 – 3’s in that school, which can be as young as 7, have the app Kik installed on their smart phones, even though this app is restricted to 18 years old, or 13 years old with parental consent. The QLD Task Force Argos, who are a specialised branch of the QLD Police for online child exploitation and abuse, Detective Inspector Jon Rouse has said that Kik was a dangerous application for children, but there is also quite a few other sites parents should be wary of and checking on their children’s activities on, like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to name a few, basically any site where a paedophile would know they would have access to communicate with children. Parents are being pleaded to by the Detective Inspector Rouse and Cyber safety expert Susan Mclean, to check their kid’s iPads, iPhones, iPods and any other tablet or smart phone they use. “Look at the devices your children have, satisfy yourself that the applications installed are safe and have a look at the photographs and any chat logs that are on the devices,” Detective Inspector Rouse said. Detective Inspector Rouse also had a message for the children, ‘Do not take photographs of yourself and do not distribute them – you don’t know where they’re going to end up, you don’t know who is going to end up with them in their possession and you don’t know what they’re going to do with it.’
To really highlight how serious an issue is this, a 22 year old Brisbane man was arrested this week for allegedly using the smart phone chat app, Kik or Kik Messenger, to force a 12 year old to take indecent pictures of herself.
Statically, 75 – 80% of year’s 5 – 7 students are said to have one or more age restricted app accounts on their phones. Are parents to busy trying to be their child’s best friends, or too busy with their own life to watch out for these things? Or are parents happier oblivious to these things? What do you think of this?