Parents urged to check their kids' phones for these popular apps to keep them safe online
Parents are being urged to check their children's phones for mobile apps that allow anyone to contact and directly message.
A list apps has been released by police officers who are advising parents to talk with their children about staying safe online.
The list was released following Christmas when many children would have unwrapped a new smartphone.
The list shared on social media includes dangerous dating apps and chat tools used to secretly share photos and videos online.
A police spokesperson said: "So they've asked for a phone for Christmas. You think, 'it’s fine, they’re going to use it to text me, dad and maybe their school friends.
"They might use Instagram, or this Tik Tok thing that I have sort of heard of. That's ok, though, because I can make their account private and check it whenever I want'... But is that right?
"Below are just a handful of social media apps that have become increasingly popular with children and young people.
"While some of these are completely innocent and we hope your children never experience bullying, harassment or exploitation, time and time again we see people use these apps to target, abuse and manipulate young people - be that sexual, criminal or online bullying."
Also featured on the list was live-streaming video app "Live.Me", which uses GPS signals to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster's exact location.
WhatsApp, Snapchat and TikTok can all be used to send messages, photos and videos to anyone onlineCredit: Alamy
Here's the full list...
1. Hot or Not
This app encourages users to rate your profile and check out people in their area. It also enables you to chat with strangers.
Calculator% is only one of many secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions.
Also an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a users location so people can meet up.
Holla is a self-proclaimed 'addicting' video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds.
Live.Me is a live streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so that users can find out a broadcaster's exact location.
Kik allows anyone to contact and direct message your child. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features, It gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Snapchat is one of the most popular apps and while it promises users can take a photo or video and it will disappear, new features including 'stories' allow users to view content for up to 24 hours.
Similar to the popular dating app 'tinder.' But, it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
A dating and social networking app. While the app is intended for adults only, teens are known to create profiles.
A new mobile app that is popular with kids and used for creating and sharing short videos.
A popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, make calls and video chats worldwide. Whatsapp uses an internet connection on smart phones and computers.
A location based dating app and wesbite. While users under 17-years-old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account using a different age.
Grindr is a dating app geared towards gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. Users are encouraged to meet each other in person.