Not all apps are created equal. Keep an eye out for these dangerous apps that are popular with kids.

It’s no small task staying on top of the endless flow of apps entering the app store every day. With just a few taps of the finger is a whole online world of games, pictures, videos, and people - accessible to anyone with a phone, tablet or laptop. 

Some apps are helpful, fun and even educational. But there are also lots of apps out there that are concerning, annoying or downright not safe for kids to use.

To help, we’ve compiled a short list of some messaging apps kids are using today that parents should look out for.


PrankDial is an app that makes prank calls to contacts of the users choosing from a disguised phone number. The prankster selects a call prompt and the contact to call, and PrankDial makes the call and records the conversation to return to and laugh at again and again.



imo provides a platform for users of the app on any device to video chat, make voice calls, send messages, and create group chats with friends and other users. imo accounts are linked to a phone number, much like many other messaging apps. This app isn't necessarily dangerous, but parents may want to keep an eye on any messaging apps their kids are using.



Nextdoor is a private social network for people in the same neighborhood. It is designed to help neighbors communicate and keep up to date about neighborhood happenings and issues, such as yard sales, lost pets, and need for babysitters. Being a private network, it is open only to users in the same neighborhood, which can be either good or bad, depending on how well you know and trust your neighbors.



GroupMe is an app used to create group chats. Accounts are linked to email or phone number and can be accessed on a phone, tablet, or computer. As with any large group chat, kids need to be careful about who is in the group and responsible with what they say.



Meeting people is entirely different in this increasingly tech-dependent world. With Skout, users can meet people nearby or around the world and chat with them, and even share locations, if they so choose. For obvious reasons, parents should be wary of apps like Skout.

Broadcasting is very popular and continuing to grow. is one of the largest live broadcasting apps, where users can watch their favorite streams and interact with other viewers, or even start a stream themselves. Parents should know what online communities kids are taking part in & lay down ground rules before allowing live streaming.


Red Onion

With Red Onion, a tor-powered internet server, users can browse the web anonymously, bypass school and public internet filters, and access the dark net, which is a network of anonymous sites accessible only by tor servers. Rightly so, Red Onion is only available to users 17 and up and is not safe for kids at all.



Holla is a video chat app that connects users at random to chat with other users across the globe. Users are connected at random, and have the option to swipe to find a new person to chat. This is not a safe app for kids to be using without supervision from parents.


Much like Snapchat, Boo! lets users chat and instantly send videos with filters, animations, and drawings. Users choose their Boo! friends, and only chat with those people. Parents will want to keep an eye out if their kids are using this app, as it's not safe for children. 

Need help keeping up with the apps on your kid's phone?


About Tyler Percival

Tyler is a young writer seeking to bring the mindset of a millennial to the conversation on the ever-shifting environment of digital parenting.

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