Rabbit

 
App Review – Rabbit

Threat Level – Moderate 

Rabbit is described as the next generation conferencing app. The idea all began back in February of 2013 with an app for the Mac. A year later they launched their website and included the web based client. By 2015, Rabbit was being noticed and became one of the top video conferencing app while beginning to create their mobile app for phones and tablets. In October of 2015 the app went live on the Apple App Store and continues to pick up momentum. 

So what is Rabbit?
Rabbit is a chat room / video conferencing app that allows its users to share a website in their chat screen so that they can shop together or watch videos such as you tube or Netflix and basically any other website. It is a way to chat and share with the other person while you both viewing the same website in your chat room. Rabbit describes itself as a great way to hang out and watch a movie with your long distance partner. So how does this work? You could basically describe this as a texting app similar to KIK, wechat, or whatsapp with a web browser at the top of your screen. So there is chat room at the bottom and web browser at the top of your screen. It allows chatting while watching whatever is in the web browser at top of screen. You can share your “Rabbitcast” with a quick copy of a link and send to others. 

Once you download Rabbit, it requires you to created an account. Like most apps now you can either use your Facebook account to login or create a username and password with your email address. Once you fill out for login, or click login with Facebook then you are ready to invite others to chat. In my opinion, this app would be great if there was a long distance relationship and you wanted to watch a Netflix series together while chatting about it. As for your children, you would need to monitor the sharing very close. One thing I did notice, Rabbit does not filter adult sites. So anything that has a website can be shared and chatted about in chat room at the same time for multiple chatters to view.

I gave this app a moderate threat level due to the app being able to access any website to share. Monitor this one closely and ask your children what they are sharing while chatting if you allow them to use this app. 

App description – bunny, rabbit, orange, white, white rabbit, white bunny 

Sneek

App Review – Sneak

Threat Level – Very High

Sneek is an app that is growing in popularity since the Snapchat story craze has become more and more common.  Sneek is an app that is described as a fast, fun way to discover moments as they unfold around you. Send funny, crazy, or ridiculous photos and videos to everyone nearby.  Sneek your friend streaking down Main Street, or the aftermath of your last Fraternity party for all to see. Just Sneek it, that’s it. Sneeky the squirrel as the app calls is mascot is a way to share any photo or video to others around you.

Sneek is an anonymous video and pic sharing app that is available on IOS and Android devices.  Sneeks concept is to allow people to share with not only friends, but with people in their immediate area. You can view other people’s posts that are close to where you are posting from  This is why they are trying to market towards college campuses.  With that being said, most College students are adults. They share adult content from parties and other college extra curricular activities.  Most of the videos that I have reviewed inside the app have been from local college in my home town and are not what I would want any underage child viewing in my house.  This app is made for adults by adults. There are features that can be added to your photos to make them more personal.  Filters and text can be applied for individuality of the posts.    

We are now seeing that Middle Schools and High School students are starting to figure out the app from family members in college or word of mouth and are trying to copy what young adult college students are doing.  If you see this app on your childs device, make sure it is being used innocently and not to share any inappropriate photos or videos.

 

Sneek – Orange squirrel, squirrel, snapchat story, stories, yeti, yetti, Sneek, Sneeky the squirrel

Secret

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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.

App description – fox white black fox face animal cat wolf

Charm

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Charm

Threat Level – High

Charm is an app that is being marketed as ‘You are more than a profile picture’  The reason they are sticking with this tag is due to the fact that the app is a dating app with video sharing capabilities.  Charm is a freshly redesigned app from the creators of Meet Me (formerly my yearbook).  Meet Me is another popular dating app that I reviewed last year in archive that is one of hundreds of social media dating applications. Most dating applications and websites allow for picture or multiple picture uploads to your profile page.  Charm is trying to steer more toward the video frenzy of Vine and Instagram and going with a video profile approach allowing its users easy to access video recorder and uploader from inside the application.

Created by the founders of MeetMe.com the Charm app asks users to upload short videos of themselves to attract others, positing that film provides a more realistic profile than just a picture. As quoted from the CEO Geoff Cook  “In many cases that photo is the best photo of that person ever taken and five or 10 years old,” said CEO Geoff Cook, who, along with his sister and vice president of brand strategy Catherine Cook, contends that the images appearing on most people’s Facebook feeds and traditional online dating profiles are a “best of” or “highlight reel” from that person’s life.  “Our purpose is to encourage authentic exchanges between people,” said Geoff Cook, who added that Charm is the first of four standalone apps the company is releasing.

The videos on Charm range from 3 to 10 seconds and users can host a maximum of four videos at one time.  Videos can be uploaded easily from inside the app.  This app is intended for an adult audience and adult dating services.  If you see this app on your child’s device, remember that adults are primarily using this app.  Find out why your child has this app and what they are using it for.  I did give this a high threat level due to the fact that children should not be utilizing a dating service app or website.

This app is free and is available on both android and apple markets.  Meet Me also has a website with Charm tie ins.

 

App search Tags- Red, blue, heart, red heart, blue heart, red blue circle

 

Yik Yak

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Yik Yak
Threat Level – Very High

Yik Yak is an app available on all mobile markets that advertises itself as an app to tell it all without telling who you are. The developers of the app goes as far as calling it “the anonymous social wall for anything”.

All users are anonymous from the start of the download. The registration process requires no personal information other than your location which will use your phones gps to determine that. This app allows you to create a handle name or nickname so people can associate you since there is no other information exchanged. The style is similar to Facebook status updates and shows you posts of others that are posting around you, yes all anonymously. They call the posts “Yaks” and they show up in the live feed for other “Yakkers” in the area. This app puts its content in the hands of all the anonymous users.

Users can vote posts up or down in the news feed and after two down votes, the post disappears. The app does state it is for plus 17 age group and targeted for adults, but no verification is required. They encourage nearby users to spread the word about parties or events and to share any thoughts about those things going on nearby.

One concern is the bullying factor and kids download app to make posts and spread rumors or derogatory posts about others under the anonymity of an unknown person. If you see this app on your child’s device, you need to discuss the dangers of sharing information Nd reading information posted by anonymous users.

Description – green app, yak, horns, brown green.

Vycarious

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Vycarious
Threat Level- Low

Vycarious Is a social-media app that is available for iOS (future android and other system compatibility are coming) The app lets you create, follow and comment on friends experiences, ranging from a two-week vacation to fixing breakfast. This social experience focuses on one event and categorizes them as such.

On download, it requires access to Facebook like a lot of other social apps are doing. Once you grant access, it generates your account for you. All you have to do is give your account a username for people to find you. After this, you are ready to let others see your experiences you create.

You begin by creating an experience with creating a cover photo and description of what you are going to share, you create up to 5 hashtags for others to be able to search. You then select your start date and description of your experience.

For example, users create an “experience description,” such as “cooking Breakfast.” They then choose a photo or video as the lead image, denote a starting date and time, and include hashtags to make their experience searchable. After that, users can upload posts, videos, images and other media until their experience ends. However, friends can still write comments even after users hit the end button to signal that their experience is over.

As for your children using this app, The social interaction is basically sharing of the photos and commenting on the experience inside the app. There is no live chat or any features other than comments. Just monitor who your child shares these experiences with and who they are watching.

One thing I did notice was when I created an experience with making my breakfast I had 3 followers before I was done with it. I didn’t have to accept them or approve them. Keep in mind to monitor who is watching experiences and what kind of pictures your child is posting. In the early stages of this social media app, I am not seeing a lot of ways to block people from viewing my experiences.

App description- white, blue, v, blue V

Tinder

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App Review – Tinder
Threat Level – Very High

Tinder describes its app as a way to meet new people around you. With the Growth of ‘Bang with friends’ and ‘Down’, These Anonymous hookup apps are starting to get more downloads and attention, so get ready parents.

Tinder is a hookup app that allows you to enable gps on your smartphone to see others around you that you would like to meet. The interface of this app is terrifying enough when you think of kids using it. The app actually utilizes a map overlay of apple maps or google maps depending on your preference or phone, to pin point your location versus their location, to give you an exact location of where you and your person of interest are.

Terrifying!

I think the 1. Description field on the App Store explains that this app is not meant for anything but hooking up. 1. States “Tinder shows you someone nearby IT thinks you should know and let’s you anonymously like or pass on them”. Don’t you love the idea of Tinder showing your kids who it thinks THEY should meet? I’m sure they double check sexual offender registry or violent crime violators. Ok is that asking to much, well surely they at least verify age….NOT! This is the Internet parents where 40 year olds pose as 14 year olds. Don’t let apps determine who your kids should meet! Tinder! Bang with Friends! Down! All 3 hookup apps that no kid should use!

Back to more features on Tinder. After you see who is around you, you are able to see their picture….or should I say the picture of who they want to be. You can then select Pass or Like them. If you choose the like feature, it will notify them of who likes you and who would like to chat. You are then connected to a private chat room where you can use the in app messaging service to chat back and forth with the STRANGER! What every responsible parent wants? Their kids chatting with strangers? Not mine, and hopefully not yours after you read this!

Another feature that makes Tinder stand out from the other similar apps is the ability to hookup friends of yours with others. Almost as hooking up a blind date. Incoming friends bad decisions as if kids needed help making those!

Tinder uses Facebook login also, so be prepared that your child will start off with all of their Facebook friends to use Tinder with. I am sure they know every single one of those people, along with every friend of a friend? Right?

I ranked Tinder a very high threat level and am placing it under the danger danger apps section on the most dangerous apps for kids. That over 17 warning is just a click away and can be bypassed by anyone with a finger at any age! Watch your children’s devices for this app so you can remove it quickly! We don’t need any app suggesting strangers to meet, or give them the feeling of being anonymous!

Red, white, flame, red flame, fire, red fire, fireball