Tango

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Tango

Threat Level – High

Tango is a social texting, social media and photo sharing app that has been around for almost 3 years. Tango has recently in early 2013 quarter shown a peak in popularity for downloads, and is in the top 10 Social Media apps downloads And close to 2k reviews averaging 4.5 stars shows it is a popular app.

So what is Tango? Imagine every messaging service available in apps, roll them all together and you get Tango.

Tango lets you send receive voice calls, text calls and as of last month, grouping features for texting to groups of people. Tango took every idea of texting apps and voice over I P apps and tried to make it better, in one complete app.

Tango works across multi platform devices from tablets to IOS to Androids. Tango prides itself on being a seamless, smooth texting app. It uses username and login and as with other texting apps, it uses data from the Internet to send and receive phone calls and texts. Pull the wifi or Internet and Tango is dead in the water !

A few in app features sets Tango above some of the other messaging apps. It allows users to play in app games back and forth, send animations and sending of digital Animations from inside the app. Tango also has some small text editing options from inside the app to lighten, crop and other small editing.

orange app, big t, letter t, white t

Blink

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Blink

Threat Level – Very High

Blink is an app created by Meh Labs that allows self destructing photos and text messages.

You knew it was coming, and recently released by Meh Labs, is the app Blink. With the popularity of photo sharing apps that delete pictures after you send them like snapchat, I-delete and Facebook Poke, comes the next line of self destructing apps

Blink is a social texting and social photo sharing app that connects you with others with a username and not a phone number. All accounts use data to send text messaging, so as usual with this style of text messaging remember it will not show up as a normal text under messaging.

Another feature of Blink is it will notify you if a screen shot is made of a photo you send that is taken before it deletes itself. Blink also allows for group messaging like some other popular messaging apps (Kik)

If you read the description it says app should be for 12 plus, then gives you the disclaimer that it could possibly contain mild tobacco, alcohol, and drug use references along with mature, sexual content and profanity or crude humor. Doesn’t sound appropriate for a 12 year old to me. This disclaimer is in my opinion, due to the use of these kind of apps popular for sexting.

I don’t know of a reason to delete photos and messaging that would have a legit purpose for your child. I want to know what my children are talking or texting about with others. Be sure to monitor this closely and ask why they feel the need to have a texting app that deletes its messaging.

Welcome to the world of kik + Snapchat!

Snapclap

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Snapclap

Threat Level – Very Low

Snapclap is a friendly reminder that pictures can be taken without touching the shutter button on your phone.

With Snapclap, the user has to ability to take a photo two different ways. One is by opening the app, setting your phone in the position you want it, and clap your hands. The app then snaps a picture, either front or rear camera . The second way is via a timer. You can launch Snapclap and set a predetermined time you want to take a picture.

As for the social side, you can export your photos to the major social networking sites with the touch of an export button.

This app is a good reminder and also a good lesson to teach your child that someone doesn’t have to be holding up a phone in front of them to take pictures.

One unwanted picture shared to the world could be very damaging to your child.

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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

Throwback

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Throwback

Threat Level – Very Low

Throwback is an app that lets you take a picture, and send it to yourself or a group of friends at some point in the future. The app won’t let you even see the picture you’ve taken any sooner than a month.

When you receive the picture, you’ll be able to save it to your camera or PC since it arrives in the form of an attachment to your email.

The idea comes from founder Calli Higgins. In her own words, “it’s out of an exploration between photography and nostalgia.” “After researching why certain images pang us while others don’t, I realized nostalgia is conjured by revisiting something you haven’t seen in a while,” she stated in an interview.

The app is super simple and straightforward. Once you’ve registered an email address, you are given the option to take a new picture or choose on from your photo album. You then select a date, a general range of time (from six months to five years) or click “Surprise.” The soonest you can receive a picture is one month from the current date.

Seems like a harmless app, but anytime pictures and kids are involved, we need to be careful. I think this app is completely innocent and doesn’t show any signs on being exploited, and the harshest offense may be juvenile pranks. One thing to remember is that this app uses the camera feature from inside the application. Utilizing this feature will permit the photos taken from showing in your camera roll. So when you take a picture, it stays in the app itself.

The pictures are sent as an attachment to an email address that is from whatever address you setup when you first opened the app. Unlike Poke or Snapchat where the viewer only has a certain time frame to view the picture.

As of now there are no social ties, but I can see them connecting in the near future. This may allow people to put a time frame on when pictures are showed to your wall or tweeted. Another interesting feature that we will have to look for in updates

Tb, blue app, white circle, t, b

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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Vine

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Threat Level – Very High

Vine is a mobile app by Twitter that enables its users to create and post short video clips. Video clips created with Vine have a maximum length of six seconds and can be shared on a variety of social networking services, such as Twitter or Facebook. Vine was founded by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov in June 2012. Colin Kroll joined Vine as CTO in July 2012. The company was acquired by Twitter in October 2012 and debuted on 24 January 2013 as a free iOS app on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Twitter is working on bringing the app to other platforms.

Less than a week after its debut, pornographic video clips started appearing on the service. Pornography is not forbidden by Twitter’s guidelines. One sexually explicit clip was featured as an “Editor’s Pick” in the Vine app, which Twitter blamed on “human error”. On February 5, 2013, Twitter raised the minimum age limit to 17 years of age, from 12, to download the application.

Nonetheless, the app can be applied to other fields such as journalism. For instance, a Turkish journalist has successfully captured the aftermath of the suicide bombing outside the U.S. embassy in Turkey on February 1st, 2013.

The BBC has deemed aggregates of Vine “mesmerising”, and notes not only that advertising agencies have been quick to seize on Vine’s potential, but that stop motion animation is alive and well.

I gave this app a very high threat level due to it being a 17 year and older age requirement download, and being that it allows explicit videos and also sexual content related videos

This app is similar to Instagram, but used for videos. The editors picks are public and easily viewable and sometimes seems on the edge of inappropriate. (Why the Editors would want to do that I have no idea, but they do)

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