How geolocation is a danger to your children
In the right setting geolocation is awesome. That ability to check-in or find the nearest restaurant. All great.
What’s not so great. That same information being used to track your children. Here are a few popular apps that use geolocation and the dangers each app present to your children.
How apps use geolocation
A lot of apps connect us to the people we know. MeetMe primary purpose is to introduce us to people in our neighborhood that we’ve never met and interact with them online—including private chats. Because MeetMe has lax security control, it gives predators easy access to our children as it’s easy for predators to pretend to be someone they aren’t. Much of the interactions has a flirty or sexual nature to them.
Skout was one of the first dating apps to emphasize geolocation. Skout gives your name, age, and location, but that information isn’t verified meaning anybody can create a profile and pretend to be anyone. Skout allows users to be “featured” at the top of the application which is another predator risk. In 2012, 3 teens were raped by adults they met on this app.
Grindr is an app that especially popular with gay men looking to meet and hook-up using geolocation. This app provides location data within a couple hundred feet. Because it’s meant to be a hook-up app, much of the content is sexually suggestive. While it does state the it’s for ages 18+, there is no way to actually verify this and there have been instances where teens have meet up with adults to engage in sexual acts. This app should not be used by children or teens.
If your children are using any of these apps, talk to them about appropriate online use and delete those apps that you don’t feel are