Social Networks & Apps

Top Social Networks & Apps Your Kids Use

Last updated: May 2016

Gaggle Student Safety Representatives often discover websites and apps that pose potential risks to students. This list is regularly updated.


4chan.org
Probably a collection of the worst of the Internet in one place. Users are mostly anonymous.

8chan (8ch.net)
On 8chan, you can create an imageboard for free with no experience or programming knowledge needed, which can result in extremely inappropriate content.

9Gag.com
An image/social board that consists mostly of very inappropriate content.

AfterSchool
Advertised as “Funny Anonymous School News For Confessions & Compliments” in the AppleStore, this anonymous app by Ambient is much like YikYak and Whisper. This app allows sexual and graphic images. Learn more about AfterSchool in this Safe Smart Social video.

Appear.in
A registration-free video chatting site. Also a mobile app.

Ask.fm
Ask.fm is a social network where members interact by inviting others to ask anonymous questions. Ask.fm has a Safety Center to “empower users with the information, guidance and tools they need to navigate safely and enjoy the service.” Watch this Safe Smart Social video to learn more.

Badoo
Mobile messaging. Less popular than Whatsapp or Kik.

Best Secret Folder
An iOS app that is used if you don’t want anyone to know that you downloaded a privacy app. The icon is disguised as “My Utilities,” so no one will ever guess there are private photos tucked away in your phone. There is an “Intruder stopper” option plays fake video upon opening.

Burn Note
A texting app that erases messages after a set period. Messages are stored until first viewed and then deleted.

Burnbook
An app for users to anonymously post pictures and text. It has become a collection of harsh comments and threats from students directed at their peers. The app’s developer is warning that nasty posts are not anonymous and your IP address can and will be tracked if you write something illegal. Watch this video from Safe Smart Social to learn more about Burnbook.

Chatbulb.com
A free web-based chat room. Enter any username of your choice and start chatting. There is no signup or age verification. The usernames are often sexually graphic.

ChatRoulette.com
This website allows people to anonymously video chat online with anyone and without any security blocks or filters. Frequently people are unclothed in the chats.

Creepypasta
Internet horror stories passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers. Includes stories from Slender Man, a fictional character that inspired two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab and nearly kill a friend.

DOWN – Dating
Formerly named Bang With Friends it has been criticized for not delivering what it promises for adults 18 and older. The premise of the website is to setup discrete sexual encounters with Facebook friends. Those friends only know about somebody’s interest when they reciprocate through the app

Down to Lunch
An app used for inviting a group of friends to a particular place or event. There have been rumors about the app being connected to sex trafficking, but the makers assure they are not true. The comments by some teenagers who use it mention that scheduled fights, rumors and sexual encounters are often found on the app.

Dropbox
Students can receive communications from unknown users. Gaggle Safety Management has found evidence of sexting taking place via Dropbox.

Ello
Basically, Tumblr meets Pinterest. This site caters to artists who want to reach out to a broader audience. It has a “Not Safe For Work” (NSFW) mode and does not ask for age at sign up.

Facebook & Facebook Messenger
A leading social network. Facebook Messenger allows for photo and video exchange as well as phone calls. Learn more about Facebook in this Safe Smart Social video. Access the Parent’s Guide to Facebook from CyberWise.

Fess
An anonymous app for high schoolers to post confessions. Users are validated that they’re in high school through their Facebook accounts.

FireChat
App that lets users chat without an internet or phone connection. FireChat uses a hidden iOS feature known as Multipeer Connectivity Framework (MCF) to relay messages instead of sending messages using a mobile signal. The free app creates its own network where each mobile device on it becomes a ‘node.’

Fling / Super Fling
An app that allows you to send a text, photo or video to 50 completely random users anywhere in the world.

Foursquare
Goal-based location sharing. Kids can share their exact location to a public audience at any time.

Gallery Lock
An Android app used to hide photos. It lets you put the app icon in “Stealth Mode,” so it doesn’t appear on your phone. It will also catch a photo of any intruder with your phone’s front-facing camera after three failed password attempts.

Google+
A leading social network that’s known to be used as a tool for bullies. A Google+ Hangout is an easy way for anyone to conduct private video chatting.

Google Drive (Docs)
Students can connect with outside users and communicate by sharing a document even when email is limited to in-district communications or turned off. Our Gaggle Safety Management Student Safety Representatives have seen instances of sexting, including inappropriate images, shared via Google Docs. We’ve also seen bullying, threats of physical violence and drug references shared with other users.

Grom Social
An online social networking website for kids between the ages of 5–16 years. Founded with the intention of creating a safe social networking site for kids.

Hide It Pro
An Android and iOS app disguised as a fully functional audio manager. It’s a secret vault that protects all your secret content. The program will disappear from the recent apps list, too, leaving all tracks covered.

Hitwe
A free dating app available on Apple and Android. The app seems to be riddled with spambots. One of the promotional elements involves meeting the people you discover and contains location information.

Instagram
Users can post photos and have their followers comment. Recently Instagram has been in the news regarding its growing popularity for trading or selling drugs online.

Keek
Facebook, but with videos. Users post and share short videos. We’ve seen some inappropriate content via email notifications.

KeepSafe
A simple Android and iOS app with basic password protection for photos and videos. Capable of sending ‘self-destructing’ photos to others.

Kik
An instant message service that also allows photo sharing. It is loaded with sex and porn spammers. Gaggle has seen many incidents via this app with inappropriate photos. Watch a real story about an incident on Kik involving a real student.

KYMS
An Android and iOS app that is used to hide photos, PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and text files. The app’s icon is disguised as a calculator. There is a “panic gesture” that closes app immediately when placing a hand over the screen.

Leak
A new service that allows people to send anonymous email. Launched in 8/2014 and suspended a week later due to violating a 3rd party API’s “opt-in” policies. They are working on making this app available again.

LiveJournal
A social networking service where Internet users can keep a blog, journal or diary.

MeerKat
A live video streaming app that allows users to share real-time video with viewers on the app and Twitter. The app has opened doors to kids to be vulnerable to cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, sexual predators, and the list goes on.

Meet Me
A social networking site that lets users tailor their searches for potential social contacts by age and geography.

Myex.com
Top “Revenge-porn” website.

Myspace
One of the original social networks, still around but offering fewer personalization options as in the past.

OKCupid
Dating website used for sex.

Ogle
An anonymous app that connects users to school groups. Due to the anonymity of the app, the content is often inappropriate for children.

Omegle
An instant message service that promises chats with random strangers. Also has a website that can be used instead of downloading the app.

Oovoo
A popular video chat among teens that is similar to Skype. It is a free download and lets you chat and video call others using a webcam. You can have group video chats. Users can have group chats.

Path
Strictly mobile-based social networking. Similar to Facebook.

Periscope
A new app created by Twitter that allows users to broadcast live video and audio online. There have been reports of harassment and bullying.  It has become a concern of the parents of many of the children and teenagers. The fear is that they are opening themselves up to all situations of abuse.  Another concern is the location sharing feature.  If users neglect to turn off the location sharing feature, viewers can locate the Periscope user.

Photo Locker
A hidden photo app on Android. This app lets you securely hide photos and videos of others. It has stealth mode that hides the app from the Android app drawer.

PhotoSwap
Anonymous photo exchanging with a significant amount of sexual content.

Plenty Of Fish “POF”
A cross-platform dating application with easy messaging. Often used for casual sex.

Private Photo (Calculator%)
The app appears to be a simple calculator, but by punching in a code will unlock a private photo album. It allows private photos and videos to be hidden behind a calculator icon, called “Calculator%”.

Private Photo Vault
An iOS app with only one purpose: to hide. It allows you import photos into albums and hide them behind a PIN lock. There is an option to set up a decoy password that launches a different set of pictures.

Reddit Forums
Good and bad. Users are mostly anonymous.

Rooms
Anonymous social app created by Facebook that allows people to create a “room” on any topic. A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text. The rooms can be public or private.

Skout
An app made for meeting people to flirt. The app is for 13+ but with no real age verification, anyone could sign up.

Slingshot
Facebook has launched a Snapchat-like mobile app where friends send you photos and videos, but you can’t view an incoming message until you respond with a photo or video of your own.

Smack High
An app geared towards high school students that allow kids to share instant school specific news and happenings by talking “smack” about others. On March 25, 2016, Giuseppe Stuto, Co-Founder & CEO of Smack High, contacted us and said, “Since December (2015), our new mobile app does not support anonymous smack talk and is now a group messenger application. Our app today has several moderators who do not condone any form of offensive, mean chatter, and we actually ban users who do so.”

Smart Hide Calculator
An Android app which not only hides files, but also hides itself. It appears to be a calculator. Entering a code will unlock the photo album.

Snapchat
An app that allows users to send photo and videos that the app promises disappear within seconds. Watch this CyberWise video to learn more.

Spy Calc
An iOS app with only one purpose; to hide. An app disguised to be a calculator. Entering a code will unlock the photo album.

Streetchat – Local Message Board
In April 2014, a new App called “Gaggle – Local Message Board” appeared on iTunes, and subsequently the Google Play Store, which is not affiliated with our company. It has since been renamed “Streetchat – Local Message Board.” Watch this video to learn more.

Tagged.com
A social network that teenagers use for meeting new people that allows members to browse the profiles of other members, play games, and share tags and virtual gifts. Recently in the news for “sextortion.”

talk.io
A video chat site similar to Appear.in. What sets it apart are the hundreds of current chat rooms available. No registration is needed to access all the features, including live chat and cam to cam video chatting.

Tinder
A voting-/photo-based location-sharing dating website often used for casual sex.

Tinychat
Group video chat room. Most of the rooms have adult content and are moderated anonymously.

Trivia Crack
A mobile app that allows users to compete against friends and people around the world. The app itself is fine, but there is a play a random person feature and a chat feature. Those combined could be a little dangerous.

Truth
App used to message your phone contacts anonymously.

Tumblr
A website that allows kids to post anything from anywhere, customize everything, and find and follow anything they want. Our Student Safety Representatives frequently see extremely inappropriate content related to sex/pornography and drugs.

Twitter
A micro-blogging site. Can contain inappropriate links, images and videos, and can be shared publicly or to a chosen group privately. Visit Twitter’s “Safety Center” to see how they are committed to building a safer Twitter.

Viber
A cross-platform chat application with chat and photo sharing.

Video Kik
Send videos of any length on Kik Messenger. It is flooded with sex spammers and has become super easy for kids to access all kinds of porn.

Vine
This app allows users to post short videos. Kids are using Vine to hurt physically and publicly humiliate each other.

Volafile.io
Volafile is a live file sharing and chat website that needs no registration or membership. It is completely anonymous so the content is often inappropriate.

Voxer
Mobile-based messaging. Easy voice/image/location sharing.

WhatsApp
Similar to Kik. Same purpose and probably more popular.

Whisper
Intended for users age 17 and older, Whisper is an anonymous social “confessional” app that allows users to post whatever’s on their mind. Users type a confession, add a background image, and share it with a user community. Watch this Safe Smart Social video to learn more about Whisper.

Xanga
Xanga is a website that hosts weblogs, photoblogs, and social networking profiles.

Yik Yak
Similar to ask.fm, but views are limited to those geographically close to the poster. Yik Yak is now blocked in 85% of all high schools, according to the company. Watch this CyberWise video to learn more.

You Now
A live video streaming app, where kids as young as 7 years of age are videoing themselves to win points. Children are being viewed and followed by adults.

Zobe
Zobe is an anonymous chat room that doesn’t require registration to use.