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Published on Oct 11, 2021
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Sophia Clark

Why Parents Might Need to Block Messaging Apps? | Steps to Block

Technological advancement has made our life so convenient and challenging. Today, the main responsibility of every parent is to keep their children safe from the inner and outer world. Children and adults are growing up in a digital era where from paper to money, everything is digital.

Back in those days, children under 4-16 had no mobile devices compared to now. Instead, parents provide them with a flip phone to text messages and calls.

Nowadays, every child has a mobile device in their hand. So, most parents are concerned about how to keep their kids safe from online and digital threats.

Messaging Apps

Children these days prefer messaging over making calls, and they download lots of messaging apps to keep in touch with their peers and family members. You might have seen kids constantly on their phones and most of the time texting to their peers.

Children and teens prefer to message more than 100 times a day instead of making a single phone call. More than 80% of teenagers use messages to communicate.

Children are usually comfortable sending messages more than making calls. One of the reasons for this is, it minimizes small talk. Also, messages are faster and more flexible than phone calls as they can be answered anytime and anywhere you want.

The next reason for children preferring text messages over phone calls is it is cheaper. There are many messaging apps that you can download for free and send unlimited messages for free. Some of the popular messaging apps which you can download for free are

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is today's world's most popular messaging app having around two billion users worldwide. It’s a highly secure messaging service app with end-to-end encryption where only you can read and view the messages and calls.

WhatsApp is a cross-platform device available on Android, IOS, Windows, and Mac. With this app, you can send text messages, add multimedia to the text, and make audio and video calls.

The best feature about WhatsApp is, it allows you to send photos and videos even if your internet connection is poor. This is also one of the reasons for kids and teenagers to choose WhatsApp to communicate.

Moreover, you can create a group of 256 people at once and send and receive messages from them

Messenger

Messenger is a messaging app developed by Facebook for instant messages, sharing photos & videos, texting, and voice calls. It has around 1.3 billion users and provides several features like text messaging, video and audio calls, photos, video sharing, etc.

One reason for its increase in popularity is installing a messenger app to communicate with your Facebook friends. Now you can connect your Messenger with your Instagram account.

Messenger provides some amazing features like "Watch Together," where you can watch videos, TV shows, and even movies with your friends. In addition, the app provides you with a wide range of features making the app fun to use.

Apart from communication, you can even send and receive money on Messenger through PayPal, debit cards, etc.

Viber

Viber is a free messaging app that allows users to make high-quality video and audio calls. Currently, it has billions of users all over the world. To make a call or send text messages with Viber, all you need to do is download the app and connect to the internet.

With Viber, you can send instant messages, photos, and other documents securely. Create a group on Viber and hang out with your friends and family in the group.

Viber allows you to send disappearing messages on Viber, which disappears after you have set on the message. Likewise, you can join communities, a group of people who share the same interests as you, and communicate with them.

Why Parents Might Need to Block Messaging Apps to Keep Kids Safe?

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There is no doubt that messaging apps can have a number of negative impacts; hence, parents are concerned about their children using them excessively. The instant messaging app can also be addictive to children, which causes sleep deprivation, decreased eyesight, etc.

Kids will chat with an unknown person online, which might be harmful. Many kids try to make more friends and compare with their peers who have more online friends. Children can also get their influence from unknown people rather than their parents.

Kids' academic performance will also be affected by the excessive use of mobile devices. They will not focus on their study and will not try to enhance their creativity, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Children will be less active in their extra-curricular activities, which can lead to obesity.

So, to keep kids safe, parents need to block messaging apps. Below are some more negative impacts of messaging on kids.

Effects of Messaging Apps on Kids

The mobile device has become a crucial part of our life. Kids spend more than three hours each day playing games, messaging, and other online activities. Children, mostly teenagers, are obsessed with messaging apps and can spend hours messaging apps communicating.

There is no doubt messaging apps are providing a platform for people to communicate. It has been a new hangout place for people of all ages. People can communicate with their family members and friends from all over the world with the help of messaging apps.

However, with advantages, there always comes some disadvantages. Children using a messaging app to chat increases fear of making fake friends on social media.

So, here are the significant effects of messaging apps on kids or reasons due to which parents might need to block messaging apps to keeps kids safe:

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is an increasing issue of online messaging. It's an illegal act of sending harmful and threatening messages to the victim through messages, voices, and calls as it doesn't require physical presence to bully the victims. Not only kids, even teens, and adults might also be the victims of cyberbullying.

Due to an increase in teen anxiety like Cyberbullying, Sextortion and Pornography, many kids are depressed, feeling helpless, or humiliated. As a consequence of bullying kids are hurting themselves, isolating themselves, and punishing themselves.

Inappropriate Content

Most of the kids have a mobile device which means they tend to spend more time messaging or staying online. The possibilities of seeing unsuitable or harmful content are high. Even from an unknown source, they can receive age-inappropriate content like photos & videos of crime, terrorism, gambling, drug abuse, and adult content in the messaging apps.

Children may get to see undesirable content from the internet which may affect their mentality. Many kids even get under peer pressure and send/receive their inappropriate picture and video to their peers. Also, in messaging apps, they can circulate inappropriate content among their peers in private chat or group chat.

Also, the private chat, secret, and disappearing chat features have made it easy for kids and teenagers to send and receive any contents they want without fear of getting caught. The little fact kids might not be aware that once they send or upload any content on the messaging apps, it will stay on the internet database forever, even if they delete the content.

Defective Social Relationship

Nowadays, kids are so addicted to social media and messaging apps that they spend less time with their friends and family. Ironically, even though people are using social media to socialize and learn how to socialize, they forget to socialize in real life.

Kids are so busy messaging and staying online that they even disobey their parents and don't sit at the family dinner table. Children will be more comfortable with messaging online rather than face-to-face communication.

You might be aware that communicating in person is nothing like communicating via messaging apps. You will miss some emotions and a sense of belonging when communicating virtually.

Also, messaging apps have reduced kids' communication skills in their real-life, which is an essential skill that one must learn. You can see many kids get socially awkward when communicating with people in real life. Also, this social media affects your teens' self-esteem too.

Account Hacked

This is also a significant problem in online messaging. Even adults can be the victim of accounts hacked. Hackers used different techniques like phishing, surveys, etc., to hack accounts which is an illegal activity. Hackers can send you random links on messaging apps, and when you click such, hackers will steal your personal information and use it to hack your social media and other accounts.

Likewise, hackers can make fake accounts and scam kids by offering different products at very cheap prices. And once they get your credit card information, they might hack your accounts. Children will not be aware of the link that the hackers have sent in their message; they click the link and become the victim of hackers.

Hence, due to these reasons blocking messaging apps for kids will be better. Here we will show the measured protective step to keep kids safe from messaging apps.

Steps to Control or Block Messaging Apps

Parents can monitor their kid's messages through messenger kids; also, where only trusted contact can chat with kids. There are many third-party's parental control apps that help to control or block messaging apps; some of them are as follows:

Fenced.ai

Fenced.ai is the best parental control solution for kids to keep them safe online. We offer dynamic monitoring of your child's online activities and keep you notified. This app has many attractive features like

Features

  • Monitor Phone Activities

Parents can monitor all the sent and received calls, incoming and outgoing SMS/MMS, scan the address book monitor location, and sim location. It can even find out keylogging and wifi logging.

  • Social Media Monitoring

You can even monitor social media your child uses. It can easily monitor Facebook, monitor WhatsApp, monitor Viber, monitor Skype and other social sites.

  • Application Screentime

Fenced.ai allows you to monitor the screen time of different applications your children use. You can remotely monitor email activities, installed application, browser history and application usage.

  • Alert Systems

You will get instant notification with the Fenced.ai alert systems feature. You will get notification of geofence alert, keyword alert, uninstall alert and wifi change alert.

Learn in detail about the features of fenced.ai.

Compatibility

  • Android
  • iOS

Bark

Bark is a parental control app that helps you to monitor your kids' social media activities. This app provides many special features that attract every parent’s attention.

With this app, you can read your kids' messages from any social media and monitors social media activities of more than 30+ apps. The most interesting feature about the app is it sends you an alert if there are some suspicious activities going on your kids' device.

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Features

  • Social Media Monitoring

Bark can monitor more than 30+ social media apps. It keeps all the records of the daily conversion of messaging apps like Viber, Messenger, Whatsapp, and Line, etc. You can view their social media activities report for the dashboard.

  • Text and Email Monitoring

It provides the parents to take control of their messages and text. You can check online text messages of your kids. If the message is coming from an unknown source, you can block the message before your children view it. You can also track the video and call log and view call time duration.

  • Parental Alerts

It's a unique feature where parents get an alert notification. If your children receive inappropriate content, parents will get an alert message and block the content. The system will send you automatic alerts if your kids are in a dangerous situation.

Compatibility

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • macOS

OurPact

OurPact is a cross-platform parental control app, which allows you to block apps and monitor your kids' devices. It is a free-to-use app that provides a number of features, helps you to know what your kids are doing on their phones.

However, many important features are available only on the paid version, hence it is better for you to download the premium version. In the premium version, you can get features like App Rules, Screen time allowance, Family Locator, etc.

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Features

  • Block Texting

It provides special features to block the messaging and text apps on both android and iOS. It allows the parent to set the time limit for messaging and when their children can send and receive the messages. It keeps all the records of the chat or messaging app and even can recover the deleted messages.

  • Block Apps

Parents can monitor and track the app that their children are mainly using. Parents can also block and grant access to the app as per their will. It allows blocking messaging apps while doing dinner or family time. Children can't use the app until their parents enable the settings.

  • Screen Time Allowance

For how long they can use mobile devices and apps. It's necessary to set boundaries on using mobile devices. Parents can make the schedule of their children. Parents can also track every app they use frequently and set the time limit of that app.

Compatibility

  • Android
  • iOS

Alternative Solution for Kids Messaging App

If you don't want to use third-party apps, then you can find alternative solutions. There are different parental control settings available with devices and apps nowadays. You can even use alternative apps made for kids like Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids designed by Facebook just like a messenger it’s a free app where kids can call, share their videos, chat with friends, families, and relatives. Kids can only communicate with verified users.

Parents should set the verified contact with whom your kids can talk and chat. And if the unknown profile tries to talk with your kids, you can block the profile from the app.

With this app, parents don’t have to create Facebook IDs for their children. You can manage your kids' app from the parent dashboard. Messenger Kids has made the app really fun by adding kids' friendly filters, stickers, GIFs, and emojis.

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Features

  • Chat History

Messenger Kid is the best solution messaging app for underaged children. You can monitor your kids' chats and online friends. You can track every chat history of how daily your children are active on messaging.

  • Block Unknown Contact

You allow access to trusted profiles only and block if any unsuitable or harmful content appears on kid’s messenger. Your children can also report or block the profile, messages, and you can also view their reporting and blocking action from the dashboard. You can also block if an unverified person tries to contact their kids.

How Does It Work?

Step 1: First, you need to install messenger kids from iPhone or android.

Step 2: In the Second interface, You will have to enter your kid’s name. This won’t create a Facebook account for your child.

Step 3: Then enter your kids' Birthday.

Step 4: In the following interface, you can choose trusted people and add them to your kid profile. If someone sends your kids a request, only parents can verify the profile.

Step 5: At last, you will see the privacy policy and features of your motoring messages.

Conclusion

Summing up, it's necessary to block messaging apps to keep kids safe. For underaged kids, it's not the right age to be using a digital device and to communicate online. Know what’s the right age for parents to get their kids a cell phone. Many kids don't know about the possible threats of mobile devices and messaging apps.

With parental control apps, parents can now block and manage the online activities of their children. By blocking these messaging apps, you can safeguard your child and also keep them motivated for online learning. So, if it's necessary to stay connected with your child, parents can use messenger kids, a secure messaging app for kids .

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Sophia Clark

Sophia Clark is a writer from Sydney, kid-lit enthusiast, and mom of three kids who loves to writes about motherhood, parenting, and big feelings.