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Safety Beyond Facebook: 11 Social Media Apps Every Parent Should Know About

by Erin Dower

Pop quiz: What is Voxer? If you're scratching your head, it's time to read up on the trendy new social media apps kids are using. Friending your child on Facebook is now just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online safety. Click through to see some of the sites and apps tweens and teens are flocking to these days, and get useful tips for protecting your child from cyberbullying and other online safety hazards. Have you heard about a new app causing safety concerns? Please share in the comments!

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Yik Yak app

Yik Yak


Yik Yak is pretty loosey-goosey. The producers of this app call it "the anonymous social wall for anything and everything." All users are anonymous (registration requires no personal information, other than a user's location), and their posts are called "Yaks" and show up in a live feed for other users — or "Yakkers" — in their area. The app's content-generation and moderation is entirely in the hands of its users (who can "vote" posts up or down in the news feed; after two "down" votes, a Yak disappears). The app is rated ages 17+ and targets college students, who can use it to spread the word about parties and events or share their thoughts. But younger users are easily getting their hands on the app and using it to post hurtful comments and rumors about their peers. Users in Mobile, Ala., and Marblehead, Mass., have even "Yakked" threats against their school, causing safety concerns and disruptions for the schools and local police.

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