Mum, Dad – Do you know if your child is on Kik Messenger?

kik-messenger

What is Kik?  Is your child on it?  Do you know who your child can contact and who can contact your child?  You need to!

Most parents think that their child needs a mobile to text, send and receive pictures. They feel safe in the knowledge that if their child does not have a phone they cannot communicate in this way.

If your child has an iPod or iPad or a similar Android device and can connect to Wi Fi they can do all of the above simply by downloading an App called Kik Messenger.  Kik is not the only App to allow this sort of communication but it is the one that teens and tweens think is ‘cool’ at the moment.

Kik messages, in their pretty, coloured bubbles, look just like text messages on a smart phone.  KikThe service is free, and only needs the App and a Wi Fi connection. Once your child has a Kik address they can and do advertise it on other Apps such as Instagram  or Keek.   If your child is also on Instagram it is likely they have posted: ‘Kik me @ xxxx’. Kik in itself is not dangerous.  The issue is the openness with which tweens and teens publicly share their Kik address, (similar to an email address) and thereby create the possibility for strangers to text them in private.

New apps are developing so fast it is hard for parents to keep up. I urge you to click the ‘Like’ button to your right,  so that you can be kept abreast of the latest apps being used by this age group and share the news with your friends.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Apps for Teens and Tweens, Cyber Safety, cybersafety, cybersmart, Dangers, Kik, Parental Controls, Parents, Phones, Social Media, Teens, Texting, Tweens and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Mum, Dad – Do you know if your child is on Kik Messenger?

  1. Regina says:

    My 15 child is on Kik and I have found some things that I don’t like. I have talked to him about cyber safety but it seems to have gone out the window. I’m looking for a way to mirror his account without him knowing, do you have any suggestions?

  2. vmfnhdf says:

    I am a child and thx my mum won’t get it so thx

  3. Pingback: Dear Parents, Kik Users must be 17+ now! Read the Reviews! | My Blog

  4. Chuck Saxton says:

    Do you still answer questions?

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Yep, please ask if you have a relevant cybersafety question we will do our best to respond to it, Regards,

      • Deanna Hager says:

        Can my daughter use Kik or Instagram to text my phone? I have an old phone (ATT Pantech Touch Screen with pull out key board. Phone and Text do not know how to use data) and we are trying to figure out how she can communicate with me. She has a Kyocera Hydro Phone. Thank You, deanna

      • Deanna Hager says:

        Or another way we can communicate with our two devices.
        Thanks!

  5. Jitesh Marwaha says:

    Kik is a massanger app…. A good app to use to for the teens to find new friends,, or can say international friends….. but there are fake one’s too…… nd creepy chatters too….. so be lerted , stay away from them or block them…..!

  6. Pingback: 14 year old NSW girl lured to Victoria by 17 year old boy via Kik | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World

  7. Pingback: Chloe’s Law….Teen in Tassie takes her own life | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World

  8. Pingback: Police Arrest 15 year old using Kik | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World

  9. Hannah Baer says:

    My son has been begging for a kik account (11 years old). We have told him he can use Imessage but his friends all say “no, I only use kik” I have thought about letting him download kik to the family tablet that way it is monitored more easily and he can still chat with his friends.

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Good idea – you can also sync Kik to your mobile device and therefore see all conversations etc if you feel that it might be safer to do this.

      • Worried dad says:

        Hi Renata.
        I have just found my 12 yr old girl has Kik/Instagram and I have found some things that don’t make me feel that good about it. You say that I can sync my phone with her Kik account, if so….could you tell me how to do so or point me in the right direction please.

        Thank you.

      • Renata Rowe says:

        Hi, Firstly, I’d get her off Kik. Kik expects you to be over 17 and to have joined she needed to have said she was. Interestingly Kik changed the age restriction from 13 to 17 earlier this year when it discovered that it was a paedohphile’s haven. IMessage is much safer and does pretty much the same thing but is person to person just like texting. To sync you must both have apple devices and must use the same iTunes account. I am not sure how to sync androids but there is probably a youtube clip to show you how! Once done you will get all her messages, the ones she sends and the one’s she receives. Allows for a conversation and for you to set some boundaries and expectations. You might agree to unsync at some point when she gets older but right now you have every right to keep an eye on things. Let me know how you go! Instructions below:

        If the app is on her iPod or iPad but not on your iPhone you could just redownload them onto your iPhone – remember it has to be the same iTunes account. If she has her own( I hope not) I would deactivate it and ensure that she uses yours. Good Luck!

        – go to the App Store
        – select Purchased
        – here it will show a list of apps on and not on your iPhone
        – simply click the download button for the apps you want (cloud button with arrow pointing down)

        Or you could transfer the apps from the iPad or iPod to your computer then sync them to your iPhone:

        – transfer purchases from iPhone to computer http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1848
        – disconnect iPod or iPad and plug in iPhone
        – go to the apps tab for the iPhone on your computers iTunes
        – select Sync Apps
        – select and deslect the apps you want and don’t want
        – select Apply to the bottom right

      • lombax says:

        i am a 13 year old pc nerd kid ..
        i most say that that aint allowed its against the rules of human Rights..
        it`s okay to bee woried .. and you can ask if you can see the messages ..but spying on your kid …

  10. Pingback: KiK, Keek, Vine n Oovoo- DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS DO? | The Christian Gazette

  11. Pingback: Kik, Keek, Vine and Oovoo- DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS DO? | Ancient Paths

  12. Wayne King says:

    I just found out that some grown man has been communicating with my 12 year old daughter. It hasn’t been going on long, but it’s clear that he was trying to build a progressive relationship. First it’s pretending to be concerned, calling her “baby” asking her to take pictures of her art or legs or “whatever else you want to”. I also saw some things about self cutting. Needless to say, I’ll be more involved in what/how she communicates in the future (that is if she ever gets the iPhone back.).

    • Renata Rowe says:

      So sorry to hear this Wayne, but so glad you got onto it so quickly. The aim of these people is not always to meet up with the child but to add to their grisly photo file. The thought of our children figuring in these files and their pictures being shared across the world is repugnant to say the least. Would you mind if I used your comment in a post? The more parents hear about real experiences the more they will take notice and proactive action as you have.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Wayne,
      I’m a journo investigating KIK. Could you please get in contact with me ASAP to speak about your families experience: jejones@nine.com.au
      Kind Regards,
      Jess

  13. Angela says:

    Kik once contacted my mom because I am apparently “underaged” for the application. On the iPhone the rating is 17+, but I read reviews and photos for the app and the majority of the reviews state that the rating is not needed and it’s what you make of the app. So I downloaded it. That was about 3 months or so ago. I got bullied once, and I didn’t make much of it. I replied a few times telling the person to stop, none more. There were swears in the insults, I suppose that’s a reason my mother was contacted. I was talking with a few friends from the Internet and they had the privileges to cuss. I took no problem with it since they weren’t insults to me or anyone else. But I did learn that Kik and a bunch of other texting apps monitor your conversations. They found my mother because she pays my cell phone bill. I don’t believe I entered my own birthday, since I’m 12 years old. I hope everybody who reads this understands to be careful if you’re underaged and using this app because they keep a log of everything- even if you delete it. A lot of people can find out your info, as they found my mothers number through AT&T, our OLD service provider. Be careful, everyone.

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. You sound like a very sensible girl and made me aware of some interesting points. I would like to publish your comment as a post on this site as it is so important for adults to hear from your age group and to share this with their tweens and teens.

  14. John Doe says:

    I mean I understand why you would inform the parents of kik but honestly if a kid is tech savvy, none of the monitoring services out there would even detect their activity. Also a salient point is if my parents were to try to find my applications I heftily took the liberty to bind them into native android applications just to open discreetly (and what not) using my keyboard with a set of characters I’m able to access my apps sneakily. Also parents here’s a tip look for an app called palringo, contains as much loads of the porn as kik and is less known…. You’re welcome (:

  15. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I
    have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you
    have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.

  16. I monitor by sons kik and instagram accts. In about 5 minutes, I’m able to find pornography, self harm suicide and more on these accounts. I’ve contacted Kik. I need to know if anyone is monitoring these accounts.

    • Renata Rowe says:

      At least you are checking Diane. Sadly I don’t think that Kik will take a lot of responsibility – remember that it now rates itself as a site for Over 17s

  17. In my opinion, it does nothing to write articles and advocate the prohibition of the app. What happens nowadays is no different than 5 – 10 years ago when the popular chats like AIM, YIM, MSN, ICQ and even the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) were wide spread. I have the kik app and enjoy it’s somewhat false anonimity. However, while I myself don’t advertise my username, nothing you can do will stop the incompetence that the majority of my generation picked up. Many times I’m in a group chat on kik or any chat room, people are still spamming a/s/l like they did in the days as the above mentioned chat services. And of course kids will answer. This is especially common with those who feel they don’t have enough attention or are going through bad times at school. I’b not saying you shouldn’t know what they’re doing on the app, you likely should know they have it. However you can’t just control them in this day and age. Kid’s will be kid’s, idiots will be idiots and reap consequences, creepers will always be there no matter what it’s on. You could blame the app’s like kik, though it’s not just on those app’s. Forums, blogs, relay chats, video games and social networks. Even in your emails, it will be there. Ask your kid once in a while about what he does online but don’t force regulation on them. Many kids use these app’s because they’re anonymous and support the privacy they rightfully deserve. Just as many adults use proxies, vpn’s and tunnels like tor to protect their online privacy. It’s a bit hipocritical in my opinion for anonimity to be fine in adults and not teens who are just as capable at using their heads as the adults. I remember when I was 12, I got involved with the ‘dark web’ scene. I had problems going on at home, no friends at school and bad grades. Online it didn’t matter who I was, how old I was or who I talked too. Those kids feel the same way as I did back then and are seeking the same acceptance from someone that I sought after. So if your going to try getting to them, do it respectfully and in a way that doesn’t prevent them from using the app but instead shows you’re just looking out for them.

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Agree! Text messaging services like Kik and Viber in particular are great – they are cheap, efficient and easy to use. It does help to alert parents to the pitfalls however as young children often don’t consider these. Thank you for your comment.

  18. ambe hayd says:

    How can i print off messages off of kik to paper

    • Renata Rowe says:

      I think the easiest way ambe is to take a screen shot and then email it to yourself. Hope this works for you.

  19. vanessa says:

    My son had the kik app and i was shocked when i realized that grown men have been targetting my son. He post want friends to talk to he got back in return. send me a nude pic later they started asking him for videos of him doing nasty things to himself. They told him they would be his friend and he did it thinking he had friends. I went through his phone and its been going on for awhile. My heart brakes for him and i wish that app was not invented. My son fills like a fool and i told he was not that these people mentaly abused him..

    • Renata Rowe says:

      So sorry to hear this Vanessa, it is devastating to find out that in the safe confines of your home perhaps while you are there these people are traumatising your child. Please ‘like’ this page and share the posts on FB or sign up and you’ll receive an email each time we post. It’s helpful to be a little bit ahead of the game

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      I’m a journo investigating KIK. Could you please get in contact with me ASAP to speak about your families experience: jejones@nine.com.au
      Kind Regards,
      Jess

  20. Pingback: Dear Parents, Kik Users must be 17+ now! Read the Reviews! | iCyberSafe.com – Living in a Connected World

  21. kimber says:

    What is even more dangerous about KIK is that you can create an “anonymous” account and send dangerous messages without parents knowing. You can create accounts under fictitious names with entering valid email or phone information. So parents can’t track what their children are sending or receiving.

    • Renata Rowe says:

      Yes, all very true ‘Kimber’, thank you for raising these points. The anonymity factor is one that I feel the creators of Apps are focusing on because they know it will appeal to teens. All I can say is that the more informed parents are, and you seem to be one of the more informed, the better. Thank you again for your helpful comment.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am a teen currently using kik messenger. The app itself is not a problem. If parents inform there children on when it is safe and unsafe to post there kik address this would not be a problem. Just don’t post kik me in your bio … It’s very simple really.

      • Renata Rowe says:

        Sensible advice, I wish all teens and tweens were like you! Thanks for the comment

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