Is it Safe for Children to Use WhatsApp for Communicating?

using whatsapp

Both adults and children alike use WhatsApp for daily communication. While adults know how to use the app safely, we can’t say the same for children. They may not be able to stay protected on the app given the kind of online threats lurking on the platform. This is where the use of WhatsApp spy solutions come into play.

If you have a child with a smartphone, you already are aware that sending instant messages, sharing pictures and videos, and texting are insignificant to your child’s social life. Every child who owns a smartphone would be using social media apps for interacting with others. One of the social media apps found on every child’s phone is WhatsApp.

Since communication plays an integral role in your child’s life, it is quite possible that your child is already using WhatsApp to interact with their friends. However, our main concern is whether or not WhatsApp is safe for children to use for communicating and how they or their parents can make sure they stay safe on the app.

Here is everything you need to know about WhatsApp, how it works and whether or not the instant-messaging app is safe for your children to use.

A Quick Introduction to WhatsApp

Most of us already know about WhatsApp and how it works. However, we are still going ahead with explaining to those who are relatively new to this instant-messaging service.

Wholly owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is an instant-messaging service that can be downloaded and installed on your mobile devices including Android and Apple devices. Using this service, users can send and receive text messages, pictures, videos, audio files, documents, GIFs, etc in an instant.

This instant-messaging app provides you with individual and group messaging options. It also enables users to post customizable status updates and stories, letting their contacts know what is going on in their minds, what they are up to or whether or not they’re online and available to chat.

Children and teens prefer using WhatsApp over conventional text messaging service for various reasons. The first and foremost thing, WhatsApp is completely free. The second being, it is not monetized, meaning users do not have to come across any ads and can continue using the app without their interference. In case, children run out of the text messages limit on their SMS package plan, they can always switch to WhatsApp and enjoy unlimited texting for free.

Another reason why they enjoy using WhatsApp is that it allows them to send and receive messages in an instant. The conventional text messages may take some time to reach the recipient but in WhatsApp’s case, the messages are delivered almost instantly.

Moreover, WhatsApp makes it pretty much easy to share pictures, videos, and audio notes with multiple contacts, filling in loopholes left by conventional text messaging or other instant messaging services that generally aren’t as fast and convenient or do not allow all of those formats.

Is WhatsApp Safe for Children to Use

WhatsApp doesn’t come with a strict security protocol. In fact, it has one unique security flaw: it does not require its user to set passwords on the app unlike the majority of other social messaging apps.

This security flaw is not necessarily a problem as long as your child is not likely to lose their mobile phone. However, it does mean that if an unfriendly acquaintance or stranger gets hold of your child’s mobile phone, they could do damage by sending messages from their WhatsApp and make it look like they have been sent by your child when in reality they aren’t.

Another potential danger of using WhatsApp would be coming across online threats on the platform. Since WhatsApp does not have any restrictions imposed on the kind of content that can be shared on the app, children find the liberty of sending inappropriate messages, either in the form of sexting, pornographic material, etc. to others.

Apart from that, children are also likely to come in touch with cyberbullies who may harass or abuse them on the platform, sending them in a deep shock and affecting their physiological and psychological health.

Perhaps another stronger reason as to why WhatsApp may not be considered completely safe for children would be the freedom of sharing their contact information and live location with other users on the app.

Moreover, it also allows them to geotag their photos. For instance, your child comes across a sexual predator on the app and begins chatting with them, that person could easily find your child’s location from the app itself.

Safety Tips for Using WhatsApp

The best way to ensure your children stay safe on the app would be finding a way to monitor their WhatsApp activity. A WhatsApp hack solution can help parents to keep a check on their WhatsApp conversations.

Another useful safety tip for using WhatsApp would be making sure your child has set a lock on their phone so that nobody can get access to their phone and the app and send messages on behalf of them.

It is always a good idea to ensure your child has set their sharing settings to their phone contacts only, not allowing any strangers to see their status or follow them when they’re using the app.

Always ask your children to add only the people that they know on their WhatsApp. They should also turn off the geotagging feature while using the app. Last but not least, make sure your child knows how to block the contacts, delete them, and report if they receive any inappropriate or harassing messages on the app.

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Umar Bajwa is a digital marketer by profession and a blogger by passion. He thrives on staying updated on topics related to the Business, Finance and HR realm.