All parents want a safe and fun way to message or talk to their kids when they’re not together. The market is flooded with messaging apps. However, most of these apps are unsafe for kids to use with potentially dangerous ramifications.
These are the reasons why your child should use only kid-friendly and safe messaging apps-
1. Most messaging apps are not safe- Most messaging apps on the various app stores are meant for kids over the age of 13 and are very dangerous for underage kids to use. Most parents either don’t realize this or don’t realize the danger that their kids are exposed to. Some of these apps allow users to use them anonymously, which attracts predators and other malicious elements to these apps. We have outlined some of the most dangerous apps and their consequences in a previous article. Then there are apps like SnapChat, which have become popular among children because kids think that their pictures and messages are deleted after a certain period of time. This makes them indulge in risky behavior which leads to more cases of blackmail and bullying because the kids don’t realize that their photos and messages can be saved and shared.
2. The law- Most countries have a law like the United States’ COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) which offers parents some rights regarding their children. Apps which come under laws like COPPA are fined heavily if they do not comply with the rules. However, apps and websites meant for the age of 13 and over are not required to do so. Here are some of the rights laws like COPPA guarantee you as a parent:
- Permission as a parent to have all information related to your child be deleted permanently.
- Prevention of your child’s information being sold to third parties.
- Preventing your child from purchasing items online without parental consent.
- Requirements of the service provider to protect your child’s information and train employees/vendors to do the same.
- Right as a parent to view all of your child’s digital footprint online.
The moment your child signs up for a 13+ app or website, you lose all of these protections.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE ROO KIDS CHAT APP
Keeping in mind the spike in identity theft, online bullying and other forms of cyber-crime, it is simply not worth it to expose your child to that kind of risk. Roo Kids Chat App is COPPA compliant. We do not sell or share your information with any third parties. We do not host any advertisements. We do not try to find out your geo-location. We don’t even store your chat history on a server. We could make a lot of money by not complying with laws like COPPA, but we can’t in good conscience expose our users to risk. It’s not worth it. It’s time that parents begin to recognize that too.
Roo Kids Chat App is a kid-friendly instant messenger with minimum but critical parental controls.
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It’s human nature to be protective of your kids. Parents see everything that’s going on in the world and feel worried for their children’s safety. Being protective of their offspring is a primal instinct of not only humans, but of most living beings on Earth. In some cases, however, some parents are too protective of their children.
Due to concerns about environmental responsibility and the convenience of typing on a screen, the physical act of writing is being phased out of our lives, be it from classrooms or offices. As a consequence, the thought that used to go into writing something is no longer put into it. People are putting less and less thought into grammar and punctuation and are relying on in-built electronic aids like autocorrect. Parents can use kid-friendly texting apps like Roo Kids Chat App as a teaching tool to teach their kids things like correct grammar and punctuation. They can observe their kids’ texting habits in a controlled and private environment and can instruct them on proper texting etiquette.
Unfortunately, bullying has been a staple of school life for as long as we can remember. 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18. More than 16,000 young people are absent from school because of bullying. 83% of young people say bullying has a negative impact on their self-esteem. 30% of young people have gone on to self-harm as a result of bullying. 10% of young people have attempted suicide as a result of bullying.
Bullying is as much a part of school life today as it ever was. What’s different today, however, is that much of that bullying and predatory behavior is happening online.
Today, there is no shortage of apps on the various app stores that offer anonymity to their users. These apps tend to be very popular with young people. They also tend to attract the worst elements of society, who want to prey on the insecurities and vulnerabilities of young people.
In today’s world, devices with screens on them are a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Most of the things we do require us using a device with a screen on it. Kids, being kids, are drawn to shiny and interesting-looking gadgets like iPads, smartphones and TVs and once they develop a habit of using these devices, it is almost impossible for them to abstain from using them. But excessive use of such gadgets has many ill-effects on kids’ health and psychology. Here are three of the main ones-
Failing. Not failed!
We are failing everyday and that is how a startup is different. It is a daily struggle to not be part of the ‘90% who failed’.
I started in 2012 and it has been quite a journey till Roo Kids Chat App. Always a right time to look back and revisit the lessons learnt. For the journey is not over yet.
Get Set, Go – The First Few Months in 2012
Gungroo was build with the vision of a safe & secure messaging for kids. That is how we started and that is what we are today. But somewhere along the way …
Private Family Network
The product started as a private network for families where an admin could allow kids logins to be created (without an email) and family members joining using their email address.
Priya Sengupta is a professional writer & a travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places and pen down the experience. She reviews kids apps and has strong opinions about what a kids app should be like. She wrote up about Roo Kids.
Roo Kids has been marketed as a safe and fun IM (instant messaging app) for kids. What WhatsApp is for adults, Roo Kids is for kids. The app comes with some safety features that allow parents to have control over the interaction. The app is targeted towards kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years. As more parents are looking to provide their kids with a digital exposure from the beginning years, app like Roo Kids is gaining ground.
Kids are meant to chat, share pictures (already on the phone) and send doodles to friends. The app does not facilitate direct camera access but kids can always click a picture from the device’s own gallery and use the picture in the Roo Kids chat box. Other parental controls include setting curfew hours when the life chat is disabled (when it’s time for study or sleep), notification when a contact/group is added and bad word filter (replacing bad words with ****). The messaging/chatting is carried over an SSL server, meaning that there would be no third party intrusion.
Other reviews like on Common Sense Media rates Roo Kids attaches a 4/5 rating to the app.
What can go wrong?
Digital technology has been growing and thus no surprise that kids aren’t quite immune to it. Too much of anything is bad. The only question with Roo Kid is whether it’s just another way to integrate technology into our lifestyle or whether Roo Kids really does some good for kids. True that the app does provide an educational platform with puzzles, games drawing tools and other features. However, it also goes wrong in several facets. The banned word feature for instance is only active only if the concerned work is followed by an exclamation/punctuation. Secondly, parents can set the curfew hours but it doesn’t stop a kid from writing messages, drawing or use the app otherwise. Just the life chat feature is turned off.
Some work is still needed. But, this is an awesome start!
You must have noticed that nowadays kids are greatly fascinated by electronic gadgets of various kinds. With development of science and technology, kids are getting addicted to such things. The coming of smartphones, iPads, iPods and other electronic equipments has become a great source of entertainment for the kids. You will notice that children can spend hour after hour with these gadgets. Rather than running and playing or other physical activities, kids are now more interested in these kinds of devices and the games that can be played there.
In today’s world it is not possible to keep children away from technology, but parents need to know as how to maintain the perfect balance on the use of technology. There should be a fixed time when kids should be allowed to use the devices and equipments during the day or in the week. For instance, smaller kids should be allowed to use and play on these devices on holidays and on weekends for a fixed time. However, older kids might need to use the computer or other sources for their studies etc. Strict parental control is required when your kids are using these devices and gadgets.
Using smartphones, iPads, and computers with internet connectivity without parental vigilance can lead to serious problems as the kid might fall into a trap unknowingly. With children knowing about social media, they might want to look for their friends and talk to them online. However, this might attract attention of fraudsters and might create problems.
Roo Kids is a great instant messaging app for kids where they can talk to their friends. The best thing about the app is that it has very strong parental controls. The app can is available at https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/roo-kids/id853763668?mt=8. When such apps are developed, you can let your kid use technology without any kinds of fears.
Image Courtsey: Lexie Flickinger & flickingerbrad; Flickr.com; Creative Commons