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Apps Your Kids May Be Using

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Keeping up with technology is one thing. Keeping up with what your kids are using is even more challenging. Since they are on the front end of trends let's get you up to speed on some apps that they might be using that you'll want to know about.

Here's a good gauge: Let's say all of your friends who are parents know about an app the kids are using. Well, it stands a good chance that the kids have probably moved on to the next big thing. Often the goal is to stay ahead of you.

WHISPER

Let's start with an app called Whisper. It's a way to post your feelings anonymously. Something like this, "My mom has a better social life than me." That's harmless enough. But you can post anything about anybody and not back it up. It can get reposted to other social media outlets, which means what is said - whether its true or false - can go viral really quickly. And people can get hurt.

ASK.FM 

Heard of Ask.fm? Well, if you want it to be, it's another anonymous way to ask strangers personal questions. You only have to be 13 years old to use it. It was launched, says the CEO on the company Web site, to create a place where young people can ask each other questions, share thoughts and feelings. But, of course, real creeps can get on there, too.

TINDER

Tinder is an online dating site that targets folks 18 to 35. Nothing wrong with that, but a children's watchdog group says, unfortunately, kids are using it to meet and hook up with other kids in their area. And I think we can all agree that kids just don't have any business being on a dating site meant for adults.

KIK MESSENGER

There is a texting app called "Kik Messenger" which is meant for texting, but it can also link you to communication with strangers.

Oovoo

And read up on something called "Oovoo." Up to 12 people can get on their and video chat. It can be fun, until of course, it's not. Just know what your child is using.

Some of these sites have fact sheets for parents to read. Some sites even list how they are managing the potential risks to young people. They're worth checking out.

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