Mum warns the world about the terrifying app her daughter accidentally downloaded
Mums took to social media to warn users about this children's app that exposes children to terrifying language...
Children's apps are intended to educate and entertain, but did you know that a harmful children's app could be lurking online just waiting to be downloaded by your child?
It only takes a few minutes – barring any internet connection delays – for us to click, download and open an app. So it's best not to leave a mobile device or iPad in the hands of your curious child without parental supervision.
One mum, Missy Kebz took to Youtube to admit making this mistake, warning parents about a disturbing app. She recounted how "she learned her lesson" after leaving her daughter to download mobile phone apps unsupervised.
"Parents should be monitoring what they're watching and what they're downloading," she urged, "because I've really learnt my lesson from this."
The harmful children's app featured a sinister voice threatening to stab children
"I was in the other room. I heard this demonic voice," she said in the clip, which has been re-shared by various Facebook sites. She added how she instantly worried about what her daughter could be watching.
"So I come flying into the other room and I heard something suggesting that it was going to stab my daughter."
The mum was terrified to hear what appeared to be a "demonic voice," so she rushed to her child's side.
She discovered that her child downloaded an app, Call Blaze and the Monster Machines, which is based on a cartoon that airs on Nickelodeon and Netflix.
The worried mum then proceeded to play the app's disturbing recording:
"Hi kids, I’m your new friend! You see, I want to play with you kiddo. Maybe we could perform some fun games together. You look afraid, is it this knife in my hands? Making you a little nervous? This knife is going to improve your look when it’s sticking right out of you."
"I am absolutely horrified, disgusted" she said once the recording came to an end, urging parents to complain about the app through e-mail.
Another mum, Katisha Long, from Gloucester, England had a similar experience. She also found out about the harmful children's app and posted her own video on Facebook to warn parents.
"They obviously don’t check the apps before they allow them on the Play store, she wrote on Facebook. "There are plenty of parents out there that just let their kids download random stuff and don’t check it before. This is a perfect example."
Naturally, it doesn't seem that the app is associated with Nickelodeon or Netflix, but it used the popular kids' show to gain more downloads.
According to the Huffington Post, the app has been banned from the Google Play store.
"We have a set of policies designed to provide a great experience for users and developers and we act quickly to remove apps from Google Play that violate those policies," a spokesman from Google told Huffpost.
Keeping your child safe from a harmful children's app
The big takeaway for mums and dads is to NEVER leave a child to download apps unsupervised, even if it's just for a few minutes. Make sure you know what they're downloading or watching at all times. Most of all, try the app first.
Here are other important safety tips to keep in mind when choosing apps for kids, according to Common Sense Media.
1. Is the app age-appropriate?
Though each app indicates a maturity rating, they can be inaccurate. For instance, some apps might seem like they're designed for kids even if its developers created it with teenagers in mind.
It is up to you as a parent to determine what's best for your child because you know them best. You know their readiness for certain concepts. For instance, playing games where they need to earn cash by cooking can be too frustrating or complicated for kids under the age of seven.
2. Is it educational or enriching?
When it comes to quality, it's up to you as a parent to determine the criteria. Is it engaging, well-designed, or does it lag constantly? Most of all, does it have any worthwhile value?
Many parents would agree that an app shouldn't just be a way to kill time. It should also have educational value. What does your child take away from the experience aside from learning how to sit still and play quietly?
3. Is it mostly user-generated?
Watch out for popular apps that are comprised mostly of uploads – photos, videos – from users of all ages. Snapchat and Vine, which target tweens and teens, are made up of mostly user-generated content.
This kind of content can easily turn an innocent app into a harmful children's app. Inappropriate language and images – including violence and sex – can easily slip through the digital cracks.
4. Is it free but overrun with ads?
Just because an app is free, it doesn't mean they won't tempt you to spend on in-app purchases. What's more, it's important to discuss consumerism with kids when they are constantly bombarded by ads each time they play.
Some advertising content could easily be unfiltered, even if developers try to tailor their ads to a specific age bracket. Clicking an interesting ad could easily start a dangerous spiral into other sites that aren't suitable for kids.
5. Is it safe? Does it value privacy?
Remember the mum who shared a warning about the paedophile on the Musical.ly app? Even kid-friendly apps pose dangers when left unmonitored.
Don't underestimate the ability of apps as a way to gain access to your private life. Watch out for those with open chat or forum functions.
Make sure the app doesn't collect personal information, too. Some apps do this subtly, so be extra careful.
6. What have other users said about it?
User reviews can be very helpful, but don't be satisfied with the reviews on the app page itself. Do your research. Find out what mums and dads are saying about it on other site. People can be a lot more honest on their own social media accounts.
So dig deep! Make sure an app passes all these considerations before handing it over to your kid for their enjoyment.
Be diligent when it comes to digital media, mums and dads! It's better to be extra careful in order to raise a tech savvy but safe kid.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore