Teen Apps in Focus: Ask.fm—Bold and Risky

teen age apps

For our kids, social media apps are just like outfits—a new one every other day.

It’s not easy for parents for this exact reason to keep tracks on every app their kids use, and the type of content that they are exposed to on these social media apps. This oblivion can lead to anxiety and mistrust amongst parents towards their kids, which is why many parents fail to understand the mechanism of many popular apps.

At TrackMyFone, we have been highlighting key social media outlets that parents should know about. Today, we will be discussing very closely about Ask.fm, a popular teen app.

Ask.fm: What Is It And How It Works?

Created in 2010, Ask.fm gained popularity due to its unique and anonymous way to ask users questions. This means, you can ask anyone what you want without showing up your identity, though you can, if you want to. Members can leave questions with photos, videos or just plain text. The posted question then appears on the profile as well as the newsfeed, where you can see all the prior questions asked by people.

Reason behind the Making of Ask.fm

Ask.fm is the only outlet that lets users build conversations and express themselves using the questions and answers format. Unlike other social media networks, Ask.fm provides a unique and creative insight to a person’s mind due to this questions and answers session.

What’s Should Worry Parents?

A variety of subjects are discussed on Ask.fm, but you can surely find abusive or sexual threads amongst all those innocent and fun posts.

The question and answer format can take out personal secrets and information from kids that they otherwise would have kept secret. It may sound cute to reveal about your crush, but this website is the epicenter of cyberbullies and sexual predators.

Ask.fm is also used frequently for dating and sexting. Kids can indulge in oversharing or abusive talks that can charge them with sexual offenses. The biggest threat of this app is the convenience to post a question without revealing your identity. So it’s never easy to catch a sexual harasser or bully on this website.

The app is also linked to several suicides in the past. In fact, in 2013, the app was banned in UK for a while, after a kid committed suicide.

6 Practical Ways to Deal with Ask.fm

Ask.fm is one of the most dangerous apps and therefore, it’s our suggestion: Never let your kid install this app on their smartphones. But if your kid is already a binge user of this app and you are finding it difficult to talk to your kid about it, follow these simple, yet practical tips to deal with your teen’s obsession over Ask.fm.

  • There are many safe ways to use this app. Start a conversion with your kid about social media etiquette and let them give their insight over it. Ask them about their digital lives and what interests them the most over the internet. When it’s your turn to contribute to the discussion, inform them about the risks of sexting and how it can lead to legal consequences.
  • Teach your kid about the privacy settings of the app. Encourage them to have a strong password and not to share it others, not even best friends. If your kid isn’t comfortable handling anonymous questions, change their settings to block the option for anonymous questions.
  • Learn to delete or report a question or to block users. Ask.fm is trying hard to take report of non-compliant users.
  • Tell your kid that it’s not necessary to answer every question that is put up by the people. If they are not comfortable, they can simply ignore that question. This will ensure that all those tricky questions that can be poorly answered by your kids won’t show up on the newsfeed or their profile.
  • Install some monitoring software onto their smartphones to anticipate any inappropriate activity.

A little awareness with some fortitude can make parenting a lot easier. We know it’s difficult to parent kids in this time and age, but there are few scary realities of teens’ lives that need monitoring.

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