Staying in tune with technology is essential today. However, parents must keep their children safe in the Internet world. Messaging apps for children are designed to protect them from the threats of online messaging. Though it is not entirely possible to shelter them, secure messaging apps let you control and monitor their texts. These apps also help your child to be tech-savvy.
Keep reading this post for the best messaging apps for kids and safety measures.
Why Should Parents Help Kids Choose A Texting App?
Parents should be aware of what their children are doing on their mobile phones as they are naive to figure out the difference between good and bad. Here are a few aspects to keep in mind when selecting the right messaging app for kids.
- Contact from strangers: Pick platforms that offer parental control over children as connecting with strangers might not be safe.
- Sexting: Teens may end up sending or receiving inappropriate content, which could harm them mentally.
- Grooming: With no check on their connections through messaging, children could become sensitive to grooming.
- Cyberbullying: There are high chances for children to get involved in cyberbullying or getting harassed by others if they do not use the right application.
Why You May Want Your Child To Use Kids’ Messaging Apps
Compared to regular texting apps, chat apps for children come with various benefits.
- Independence: Chatting apps for kids give them the freedom to connect with their friends and express themselves without their parent’s involvement.
- Safety: They have various safety features to protect children from getting contacted by strangers and getting involved in threatening situations.
- Parental controls: Based on the children’s needs, parents can control the app to protect them from harassment and cyberbullying.
- Peace of mind: These apps provide peace of mind for parents as their children are protected from online threats.
Safety Measures To Take While Using A Messaging App
While using any messaging app, it is essential lto keep in mind the safety measures.
- Don’t share real name on social media apps or sync the device’s address book with the app as it would give jeopardize privacy and might lead to online threats.
- Always set the secure privacy settings and instruct children not to accept messages or calls from unknown people or people who are not on their contact list.
- Disable the location feature in the privacy settings.
- Instruct your children to seek permission before a voice call or video call to ensure privacy.
- Supervise children in the initial stage of using a messaging app.
- Ask your child to use their device in the common area and not in the bedroom or study room for better monitoring.
- Have an open conversation with children about using the texting app responsibly and safely.
- Communicate with your child to share anything they experience while using the app.
15 Kid-Friendly Texting Apps
1. Facebook Messenger Kids
It works like the regular Facebook Messenger and includes various features for children, such as child-friendly stickers, frames, emojis, and GIFs. They can also make video calls using fun masks. It is a safe messaging app that allows taking photos and videos with filters and features parental control settings for approving and removing contacts.
2. Google Hangouts
Though it is not designed specifically for children, you can set up an account using Google Family Link for under 13s to make it a secure kids’ text app. It allows children to chat only with approved family members and friends and enjoy group chats. Also, it does not allow deleting individual messages and requires adding contacts manually.
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing apps that lets you invite up to 100 people. Though it is designed for conducting meetings, conferences, and classes, it makes a safe app for children to chat with their friends and enjoy online classes. The free version of the app offers sufficient features for chatting. You can add a password to prevent unknown people from joining your meeting.
It is a video chatting app with various features to protect your child. Only people on the contact list can contact your child. You can hide the profile details such as gender, age, and birth date. Moreover, your child’s profile will not show up on the search results until the name matches the search.
FaceTime is a pre-installed video call and chat app on iPads, Mac laptops, and iPhones. It allows hassle-free and free chatting with family and friends over the internet. Children can still receive calls on the device even when FaceTime is not running, making it an excellent app for emergencies. It comes with various features that make communication more fun and safe as it works only on Apple devices.
It is a fun app for video communication that allows children to simultaneously chat and play games with their friends. Young children and teens can enjoy a wide range of games. The app is free to use, but you might have to pay for using the additional features. It lets you invite up to eight people to have a video party or chat session.
It is a mapping app that helps you know where your children are. It includes some privacy settings that allow you to be invisible. You can even turn off the private and public chats separately. It allows turning on the voice command mode for hands-free interaction.
The video chat tool is designed for desktops and mobiles. Share the chat link with your family members or friends to enjoy a conference call. It is also an easy-to-use app for grandparents and younger children unfamiliar with technology. Designed to work on Mac, Android, and Windows, it makes a convenient and safe option for children to have a video chat.
9. Animal Jam
You do not need parent approval to create an account on Animal Jam, but you can access free parental controls by registering your email address. It uses human monitors and filters to keep track on iffy conversations. You can also select from three different chat levels that include pre-approved phrases and open chats. The app does not allow limiting chatting to only friends.
It is an extension of WhatsApp and is designed for Android users. The app allows chatting with up to 12 people without any need for the guests to sign up. You can import the contacts from other apps with ease and share the link with friends to start chatting.
Designed for Android and iOS, the Airtime kids’ app allows sharing photos, listening to music and sharing TV shows with friends. It lets children chat and watch videos at the same time. It even allows parents to create a private room for chatting. Customizing screens using animated stickers makes it a fun app for kids.
Roblox is a popular app with over 90 million monthly users. It has stronger filters for players younger than 12 years of age. To limit conversation, it allows turning off the messaging and friending options. The app also allows setting a pin code so that children cannot change the settings and only parents can have complete control.
Though LinkedIn is a popular app for making connections in the professional world, it also offers privacy settings that can be selected based on your child’s needs and maturity levels. It is a safe messaging app for kids as it allows hiding the last name and email address of your child.
If your child is spending too much time on Instagram, you can use the restrictive privacy settings to limit the number of people who can contact your child. Select ‘Settings’ and ‘Privacy and Security,’ and you can make the account private. It will prevent people from posting comments and also replying to the stories.
It is an easy-to-setup and use app for desktops and makes a convenient communication app for family. The free version for families comes with limited features and makes an ideal choice for daily video calls and chats. YouTube integration and fun emojis make the interaction more interesting for children. You can also lock the room if you don’t wish strangers to join your children.
With such extensive choices of safe and easy-to-use apps for kids, you can select the one based on your child’s needs. Using these apps will protect your children from bad experiences and keep them safe from online predators.
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