What is Skout? An app review
Skout is a social media dating app that was founded in 2007. It’s been around for a while. It was one of the first dating and mobile apps to emphasize user geolocation. The geolocation option can be disabled. In the adult community on Skout, geolocation is turned on. Skout is available in 180 locations and in 14 languages. You can sign up for Skout using an email address, your Facebook or Google+ account. Skout is designed for 13 year-olds and older. Youth and adults both use the app and the supporting Skout website.
Let’s take a look at the app.
What parents should know
While there are communities for adults and teens anyone can register with a fake name and information. This should be a concern with parents considering it’s easy for child predators to use. Skout did suspend its services to minors in 2012 for three separate incidences where three teens were allegedly raped by adults using the social media application. Services resumed for teenagers three months later after stricter safety measures were put in place. Safety measures now include constant monitoring and a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior. They report they ban over 40,000 devices each month for violations. They state they monitor the app 24/7 and ensure that behavior is appropriate for their community.
What do they mean by appropriate behavior? Examples of terms of service violations include:
Still, they ask that users “self-police” to help the community remain appropriate.
- Minors under the age of 13 or users that have registered under a false age.
- Members sending harassing or offensive messages or photos.
- Members asking you for money or donations.
- Fraudulent registration or profiles.
- Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-900 numbers or attempts to sell products or services.
- Copyright infringement.
What parents can do
- Have access to your child’s electronic devices and check them often at least once a week.
- Set boundaries and limits on your child’s use of technology. Use the skill of Preventive Teaching to help you and your child set good boundaries.
- Use additional apps and programs to monitor your child’s engagement online.
- Talk to them often about Internet Safety using the skill of Effective Communication. Set up a plan and keep the lines of communication open.
If you notice that Skout is an icon on your child’s device and have concerns we suggest you begin addressing those concerns using the skill of Effective Communication on the Smarter Parenting website. Is there an App you would like us to review. Please let us know. There are always new applications for teens coming out and if there is one you have a question about, please let us know.
Next week we will review another app. Don’t forget to register with us on our website, subscribe to us on youtube and follow us on social media.
Until next time, be safe in cyberspace.