What are the risks of Kik?

What are the risks of Kik?

There are no parental controls.

Predator activity is rampant. The app has been associated with a significant number of predators prowling the app. Offences associated with the app include child sexual exploitation, image violations and grooming.

The unique feature of not needing a phone number to sign up increases the chances of interacting with fake or anonymous profiles which can lead to dangerous unsuitable content.

Once downloaded your child can join public groups and chat with up to 49 other participants. There is also a DM function in these groups where your child can receive a DM from another user within the group privately.

Sexting has been associated with this app with users sharing sexual images. These images can then be copied, shared and used to blackmail or bully.

Kik has chatbots which can be added to any chat. These ‘bots’ are automated software that mimic conversation. Most of these ‘bots’ are harmless. There have been links with ‘pornbots’ and ‘spambots’ however which try to lure users into clicking unsuitable websites.

Video chats can be recorded and shared without users knowing. These conversations could then be used to blackmail or bully.

The ‘meeting new friends’ feature puts your child into conversations with complete strangers based on their interests.