Kik allows users to instant message. No mobile number is required. Features include messaging, photo sharing, and video chatting.
Why is it a risk?
Kik has landed on several lists of "worst apps" according to parent reviews. The Apple App store reports that the app may contain frequent and infrequent themes of sexual content, nudity and mature/suggestive content, whilst the Google Play Store advises Parental Guidance with use of the app. However, we feel that the risks associated with Kik should be taken more seriously. Users on Kik can register without verifying their age and without linking their account to a phone number, meaning that Kik offers a kind of online anonymity where users can create fake profiles and hide true identity. Stangers can contact users on Kik, and the site has been associated with sexting between strangers, and cyberbulling. The network has also been named as one of the platforms involved in the suicide of a young girl from Florida, who suffered vile abuse, harrassment and bullying online.