Whatsapp Messenger: what you need to explain to your kids

whatsapp for kidsWhatsApp Messenger is the most popular instant messaging application in the world, this is a fact that can’t be denied. Statistics confirm this supremacy and report that nowadays the users of WhatsApp are more than one billion. Are you one of them or are you still trying to resist to its charm? In any case, you are certainly aware of the pros and cons of using an instant messaging service.The question changes when the user is your kid. Have you ever thought about the risks hidden in an instant messaging service?

Young people love WhatsApp: it’s cheaper than SMS (you just need an internet connection), it allows you to chat, share video, music and pictures. And, of course, it is instant. Furthermore the app is free and can be installed on Android devices, iPhones and iPads, BlackBerry, Windows Phone devices and Nokia.Once the app is installed on your device, it uses the contacts stored in your phone to send messages. So, essentially, it is also extremely simple to use, and that’s one of the reasons of its popularity. But, as we said, there are some options that can make WhatsApp dangerous for your kids.

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For example the location sharing. When this option is activated, it could reveal where you live, and this could turn out to be a threat to your family. How can it happen? Because when your child shares pictures or videos with one of his/her contacts, the message will include also a map of the location where they were shot. Luckily, you can turn off this option from the phone’s main settings.

There is also the problem of strangers contacting your kids, but it’s more or less the same than using the internet, only that with WhatsApp you need to be on someone contact list, so it seems safer. Furthermore, as with any other social network, your child risks to be bullied. So, what can you do to keep your kids safe?

It might seem obvious, but unfortunately too many parents don’t think it necessary: have a good talk with your children. You must remind them that they have to be careful with what they send. Pictures and videos can be shared indiscriminately, you never know. There are also other actions that you can take. When receiving unwanted or harassing messaging you can always block them from your Settings menu. Furthermore, you have the possibility to report abuse and spam. WhatsApp has the authority to ban those accounts that it believes violate its terms.

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