Kik is a free messaging application known for easy account creation and a sense of anonymity. Although it could be considered a useful way for students to chat with friends while avoiding racking up text message charges, it’s no secret that the Kik App, as well as its sister app, Video Kik, is used for sexting and the sharing of inappropriate photos and videos.
As long as Kik has been around, Gaggle Safety Management has seen a steady flow of Kik notifications via email. Recently, we notified a district of a very alarming video—sent using Video Kik—that required the immediate attention of the district’s emergency contacts.
While friends sharing photos and videos of each other might be enough to turn parents off from the app, much more serious dangers exist from known child predators using Kik. In this article, a convicted sex offender explains how a child predator can use Kik to target minors or easily obtain child pornography.
After downloading Kik, a user has the option to add associated applications within Kik. The application selections contain titles like ‘matchchat,’ ‘kisskiss’ and ‘Hit Me Up.’ These applications can connect strangers with a common purpose. Sometimes that purpose is as clear-cut as sharing nude underage photos. ‘Hit Me Up,’ as the article mentioned earlier explains, allows a user to simply proclaim they like young boys of a certain age, at which point they’re sent related images.
There are many applications for chatting and mobile messaging available to students, but not all are created equal. Kik may be fun and easy to use for a student, but there are safer alternatives that attract a less dangerous user base and are more manageable by parents. In this case, Kik might be best left completely off of a student’s mobile device.