14 year old NSW girl lured to Victoria by 17 year old boy via Kik

Parents of KrystalWhat is Kik Messenger??  Is it safe? Do you know if you child is using it? Most parents don’t!  Last week, a 14 year old, Year 8 girl, went missing from her home with a 17 year old boy she met through Kik Messenger. Yesterday she was found.  The pair drove to Colac in Victoria where they camped out overnight. Kik Messenger is a social media app that is free and can be easily downloaded from the Itunes App Store.  To put it simply, it is like texting on a phone but it is free and can be installed on a smart phone, or an ipod or ipad. Parents are often not aware that their tweens and teens are on it and, as it is a private messaging service its use can be hidden or go unnoticed.  In itself, like most apps, there is nothing wrong with it however away from the scrutiny and guidance of Mum and Dad, tweens and teens can stray into worlds that are not safe.

This is precisely what Krystal seems to have done. Upset, stressed and angry, as reported in, the Sydney Morning Herald article, Krystal Muhieddine found safe, was scared, Krystal met this boy, went to the movies with him and decided the next week to disappear with him.

Recently Kik, aware of the dangers of its own App, increased the sign up age to 17  Dear Parents, Kik Users must be 17+ now!    Part of the reason for this is that Tweens and Teens were posting their Kik address on Instagram – Teens post ‘Here I am Pics’ and ‘Kik me @’ – opening them to exploitation by a larger audience.  Some tweens are aware of the dangers  Tween Parent’s Kik Revelation! but many are not and like Krystal, when their defensives are down they can be easily led into dangerous situations.

As teens move away from Facebook and into more private realms such as Kik and Instagram I challenge parents to be more and more involved in the conversation of where their children are and who they are communicating with!

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, Dangers, Instagram, Internet safety, Kik, Kik Messenger, Parents, Social Media, Teens, Tweens and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 14 year old NSW girl lured to Victoria by 17 year old boy via Kik

  1. William painter says:

    KIK has undercover police on the site just to warn you if you think your talking to someone it may be a police officer you don’t wanna take that risk I’m on kik I see the scum on there me and my girlfriend are on there we meet through kik but I know it’s unsafe It’s worse than facebook Twitter and Skype yes Skype is on the top ten most deadly sites kik has now got Video so you can send videos that’s were this may get ugly I know it will that’s why I want a safer chat site were you have to show a live face all the time and you have to say your real name and address so police can verify who you are that’s how we can make social media safe.

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