Shazam

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Shazam

Threat level – Very Low

Shazam is a commercial mobile phone based music identification service, with its headquarters in London, England. The company was founded in 1999 by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Avery Wang and Dhiraj Mukherjee.

Shazam uses a mobile phone’s built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of music being played. An acoustic fingerprint is created based on the sample, and is compared against a central database for a match. If a match is found, information such as the artist, song title, and album are relayed back to the user. Relevant links to services such as iTunes, YouTube, Spotify or Zune are incorporated into some implementations of Shazam.

As of September 2012, Shazam has raised $32 million in funding. And is continually growing into the social media field. You can now share the songs that you identify with your Shazam app to let others know what you are tagging. All this sounds innocent and doesn’t really seem like an app to be concerned with until now.

Shazam has teamed up with movie production companies for a new twist of using Shazam. If you are watching television and notice a caption at the bottom that says Shazam for Red Band, be aware! This means they want you to launch your Shazam app to hear the trailer. It identifies the trailer then launches the red band movie trailer on your device. A Red Band trailer is an 18 plus graphic movie trailer that you don’t want your child watching. I saw this for the first time tonight, and figure it is only going to be used more and more. Just watch out for the Shazam now on your television. Your kids know exactly what that means!

Blue, blue app, s, letter s

iDelete

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iDelete

Threat Level – Very High

iDelete is a photo sharing app made by the a company with the same name. This app is another Snapchat and Facebook Poke clone.

iDelete allows its users to create simple account to, then share photos with your friends you invite inside the app. What makes this app different than Snapchat or Facebook poke, is the way it stores the picture and deletes it

This app allows a user to take a photo from inside the app, then send that photo to another iDelete user. When the message is received, the viewer has a pre determined amount of time to view the picture. From 3-10 seconds. After the allotted time, the picture then deletes itself.

The difference from Snapchat though is how iDelete states the way the picture is store for those few seconds, does not allow a person the take a screen shot of the image to save it.

When you use Snapchat or Facebook poke, a well timed screenshot will allow you to save the senders picture. iDelete will not allow that

I gave this app a very high threat level due to kids utilizing apps similar to this for sexting or sending pictures they do not want to get caught sending.

The growth of Snapchat will only cause these type picture sharing apps to be released. Brace yourself for more

Let me tweet that for you

letmetweetthat

Let Me Tweet That for you

Threat Level – Very High

I am usually posting app reviews along with safety pertaining to mobile devices, but to educate yourself on your child’s website history is just as important as monitoring their phones or mobile devices. Don’t neglect to keep tabs on your home PC, and your child’s mobile devices Internet browser history.

We all know the importance of CyberBullying and how to watch for the signs in our children Everyone always fears the time when your child becomes the target for CyberBullying. But there has to be a bully somewhere.

I have been involved in conversation with parents, family and friends about the growing topic of Cyber bullying. I must admit, that often I have thought in the back of my mind … I hope my child never falls victim to the horrors of cyber bullying. I have never thought of it from the other side. What if after all the time of making sure my child did the right thing, what if they made one mistake and hurt someones online reputation.

For this thought alone, I wanted to review a website that I feel is just as dangerous as a lot of other sites with explicit material. The site is called Lemmetweetthatforyou.com The basics of this site which is very non graphic and straight to the point, is that it allows the user to make a false tweet. The tweet will appear that it came from whomever the person wants. People will see the profile picture and whatever they want to say.

Children are using this to be “funny” and tweet juvenile things about others, but sometimes it could be to much. At the moment, this is a website and not on the mobile platform. I am hoping that Twitter can do something about this to keep it from going to public and catching on.

The good news is, these tweets do not show as a tweet in your history. This is for pure Screenshot only, and can be tracked down to who made the fake tweet picture. Forensically this can be controlled and found out who did it, but for a child sometimes just one derogatory comment or something cruel is posted, that is enough.

If you do find this website in your history, please ask your children what they are doing with it, and educate them on the power of posting something that is not true, making it look like something else.

I gave this a very High Threat level, due to this being a site that encourages people to make posts that are not real.

Foursquare

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Foursquare

Threat Level – High

Foursquare is a location based social networking website for mobile devices. They have an app on all the mobile operating systems. Users create an account then “Check in” at restaurants, events, or wherever they are to earn points. Location is based on the GPS hardware that is inside the mobile device itself, whether that be a phone or tablet.

The user invites friends to follow them as in most social networking sites, to view where their friends are checking in and what they are doing at the time. When you check in, you can attach a picture, a tip or any comment you would like. At that point, you can select if you would like your picture, tip or comment public or private. The private setting only allows your friends that you have approved to be able to read what you said about the check in. If you wish to leave that open to public view, then anyone that is a foursquare member will be able to view.

Some people will leave Tips open to the public for anyone to see. For example, if you are checking in at a local restaurant that offers a special on Tuesdays, you may want to let everyone know that. If it is a tip you want to leave for friends only, you may get more personal. I have read good tips and bad tips, but people are utilizing the social networking aspect to let others know about the establishment.

As I stated in the first part of this review, you earn points for checkins to compete against your friends. You get bonus points for certain things. Such as, checking in with others, checking in when other people are there or even for sharing a Photo. If you check in more at one location than anyone else and are consistent with your checkins, then you can become “Mayor”.

If you hear your children talking about being the Mayor of a location, or knowing someone that is a Mayor, they are probably talking about Foursquare.

Businesses are utilizing Foursquare as a marketing tool. If you start to look around as you walk into businesses (restaurants particularly) you will start to see the Foursquare logo, or Check in Here in the same colors as the Foursquare app. This usually means, they offer a discount or special price on certain items, if you check in on foursquare.

Foursquare concept started in 2009 with a company called Dodgeball and Google Latitude. As of 2011, Foursquare was reporting over 20 million users with over 3 million check ins a day. There is multiple language support for world wide use.

I gave this a High Threat level. I started with moderate, but then thought the idea of your child giving their location of where they are bumped it to high. Just make sure to monitor their friends list, and as always discuss the app with them and make sure they are aware and understand public posts versus private posts. Communication is shared with friends, so be sure to create a Foursquare account with them! On a good note as they get older, you will be able to see their checkins and status:)

Blue, blue app, check mark, green ball, green golf ball, ball on check mark

CocoPPA

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CocoPPA

Threat Level – Very High

Just for the record, right off the bat.. Yes it looks innocent, and Yes it is called CocoPPA.  That spelling is not  a spell check error.  This app is made by Japanese company, and I have not figured out the reason for the name of this app yet.

CocoPPa is an app which enables you to make your favorite image as the “one-touch icon” and place the icon on the home screen.  Seems harmless enough right? This app allows you to make custom icons for other apps.  This app seems innocent , Hello Kitty pink and purple color scheme kinda feel for your device.  The programmers of this app probably never thought of it being anything but a cute fun way for kids to change the look and feel of their device or phone.

That would have been a great idea, if they made the app icon disguise keep the same name.  But they didn’t, it is customizable or set from a template.  So you ask me, What does that mean? Let me explain

Digi Social is another Very High Threat rate app that i have reviewed in the past.  WIth this Cocoppa app, they can download Digisocial (knowing it may get them in trouble)  Then take this app and disguise the look of the Digisocial app, and even the name to something else.  It could say You Tube but when you touch to open it, it then opens Digi Social app which is a plus 18 app with sexually explicit content.

This is every kids dream, that is trying to keep you from knowing about a texting app, or another app that they may have gotten in trouble with , and you thought they deleted.  So you ask yourself, If the app disguised is not called the app it actually is, then how in this world can i ever monitor that?  Will you have to open up every app on your kids device, to make sure it boots to the right application?  The answer is No, and let me explain how to combat this.

This app basically works as a shortcut between it and the actual app, so you still have to download the app you are trying to disguise on your phone or device.  So if you make a pretty cute pink app with bubbles and flowers and call it Bubble pop, but it actually opens a sexually explicit Digis Social app, you still have to have the regular Digisocial app on  your device somewhere.  The only place to hide it, would be inside a folder to make it less obvious.  So to combat this, all you need is to look for all apps on the phone, even apps inside folders.

This app doesn’t replace the original app icon, but just makes a second one, and shortcuts it to original.

I gave this a Very High Threat level, because I wanted to archive it as such, to let parents know that there are disguise apps such as this out there, so pay attention to the little things.  Especially the names of apps.  One slip up could cause your child to see something they should never see. Be diligent in your social media safety!

If you are still confused, watch this Tutorial Video on how they show you to set up this app.  You will understand the Disguise feature, and how it could be taken advantage of for the wrong reason.

pink app, pink, flowers, lace, rope, hello kitty, cat , envelope, three, three categories, three sections

Omegle

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Threat Level – Very High

Here is your Very High Threat Level review for the day! I can sum up why I give this a very High Threat Level in 2 words. Chat and Strangers. This app brags about how You can talk to strangers! That is exactly what we don’t want our kids to be doing! Look at this app logo closely and make sure it stays OFF your kids devices! If you want to know more about the app, see below Description. Or I can save you the time by telling you to Delete this one if you don’t want your kids to be talking to strangers!

Omegle is a free online chat website that allows users to communicate with strangers without registering. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the handles “You” and “Stranger”. The site was created by 18-year-old Leif K-Brooks of Brattleboro, Vermont, and was launched on March 25, 2008. Its logo contains an omega turned diagonally. On March 14, 2009, Omegle introduced a video conferencing feature in addition to text chatting. Less than a month after its March 2008 launch, Omegle garnered around 150,000 page views a day. The use of the mandatory chatnames “You” and “Stranger”, the “Talk to Strangers!” slogan of the site, and prompts such as “Your conversational partner has disconnected” at the end of a chat appeared to fuel the popularity of the site.

The kind of chat that Omegle popularized is called anonymous chat, stranger chat, or 1-on-1 chat. The site now provides an Omegle mobile application that lets users chat with strangers from an Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Palm webOS device.

In the description it says 17 and up, but we all know that kids read and listen to those warnings! Reading the reviews, you can see people want mor video chat, which is another reason to be terrified of this app if your children are using it.

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Digisocial

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Threat Level – High

Digisocial is another picture sharing app for the IOS and Android. Think of this as an Instagram style app, but with a twist. You are able to tag voice recordings on top of the pictures. This sounds neat when you are able to hear about what the photographer taking the picture thought about the picture. But here is the kicker, and the reason I gave it a high threat level.

The High Threat level tag was issued because of content and not really anything else. Other than comments, there is not a chat feature that would allow a lot of communication, but that isn’t what concerns me. The concern is the access to the soft porn pictures with voice overs. This app is way to easy to stumble across adult themes or adult style content.

I would keep this app off my children’s devices until I could figure out a way to separate the adult images verses everything else (from a parents point of view , not just a filter that can be toggled on and off by anyone). I don’t see this happening soon, because I don’t even see an option to report explicit pictures or voice overs. This seems like a selling point for digisocial to market an adult crowd that enjoys that kind of content.

Keep the kids away!

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