Threat Level – Very High
Ask or Ask.fm started as a web based program that allowed people to anonymously set up an account with email as the only verification. Once you setup an account, you are then assigned your own page specifically for you. At this point, you can set up a profile screen with profile pic and bio, but most kids do not.
I became aware of this app by kids posting on Instagram to “ask me anything” and other posts saying “see my ask me link in bio”. I went to their bio page, I saw the link there. All I had to do is click on the link they have posted on their Instagram bio page of their profile and it took me directly their private ask me page.
When you create an account on ask.fm, it creates a page for you and only you. People can come to your page and ask a question without logging in or becoming a member themselves. Kids think this is funny and innocent. I agree some questions I see posted to children’s ask accounts are innocent and childish. Such as Who is your BFF? Who is your favorite band? What is your favorite song? Questions like that are innocent, but you must make sure your kids are being asked those kind of questions. Make sure there are not coming from an adult or someone that you don’t want asking your children questions. Especially leading or grooming questions.
Up until a month ago, this was all web based and you needed to go to the website to access the asking questions pages. Now you can Download the Ask app. This app is free and when you access your account after installing on your device you can view questions people ask you and respond to them from inside the app.
I gave this a very high threat level, so people would realize that the innocent side is fine, but it only takes a few questions by predators to lure your children away. Don’t let this happen. Monitor your children’s ask accounts regularly.