App review – Secret
Threat Level – Very High
Secret is a free app available on the IOS and Play store. The app is described as a place for you speak freely without judgement. With that last sentence, you can see why I gave this app a high threat level for your children.
You start Secret and the tutorial walks you through the step by step process of setting up your anonymous account. That means, well… You don’t have to do anything. Once you launch the app it is ready to roll.
The basic concept of the app is you are telling secrets to strangers. You don’t know them, and they do not know you. That is the last thing I want my children doing. The app appears basic with pictures and text. When you make a post, you select a picture or upload your own as a background for your “secret”. The secrets being shared are usually one or two line typed text messages with different font selections.
As I was browsing the app I saw posts that were saying things like “Me and my mom do drugs together” and “I have a porn addiction” also people had shared updates like “calm down and enjoy life” and other G rated quotes. During my brief session of using the app, I saw about half the secrets posted that I would NOT want my kids reading. When people make a post, it does not know who you are and does not associate a profile picture or any profile to the post (known as a secret). Secret does allow people to comment on your secret or give it a “like”. People can view comments of the secret without posting or clicking on a like. If a secret is liked, it shows people around you (GPS) or friends that you have selectively decided to share your secret with what that post is and allows them the opportunity to like it or comment on it. When you make a comment, the app associates a default picture with your comment, but just for that thread. This allows people to know who is posting numerous comments on a thread. This generic photo changes though if you go to comment on another secret.
Another thing that was concerning on this app was posts that I felt kids were making being inquisitive. I saw a couple secrets asking about sexual oriented questions. The comments were just as graphic as the secret shared. These were obviously posts that I would not like my kids reading, liking or commenting on.
This app is one to put on your watch list. If you see this app pop up on your child’s download list, remove it quickly. This app should be for adults only.
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