Apps and games information
We know that children and young people are using several apps and playing many games, it can be hard to keep up to date.
Here we will give you the information that you need, as well as useful guides that can help to keep your children safe.
Age Rating - 13
TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, is a video streaming app and website. Users can either watch other people's videos or create their own.
Videos are usually people lip syncing to their favourite songs, but can also be challenges, pranks, gaming or several other topics.
TikTok allows people to express their creative side, as well as learn new skills and video making techniques. Alongside this, there are risks to making, posting and viewing videos on TikTok.
In Darlington we have had several incidents of young people posting videos whilst inappropriately dressed, or posting too much personal information.
Video's can be commented on and users can send each other private messages, this can pose the risk of grooming or bullying.
Accounts can be set to private, meaning that only friends can view your videos, something that DISP encourages all young people to do.
TikTok has released a new Family Safety feature.
This will link a parents TikTok to their child's account. Parents will be able to limit or stop direct messaging, restrict certain contend and set time limits on usage of the app.
The app will also send prompts to encourage users to take regular breaks. For more information see the BBC news article [external link]
Age Rating - 13 (17 on apple store)
Discord is a messaging app, allowing users to talk on various different subjects. Originally used by gamers to communicate, it has now grown and is accessible for any user.
The app is split into servers, these are the different rooms, each with their own topic and focus.
Some servers may be private, and only allow people invited to view the content, however some are open for anyone to join.
People can communicate through text chat, voice calls or video calls.
We have had a few issues recently with young people using Discord.
There are several severs with adult content that children and young people can view, a lot of this adult content can be quite niche, including sexual fantasies and fetishes.
As a result of this, they may decide to research and explore further.
As all content on Discord is user generated, there is a lot of information, not all of it factual.
This can easily confuse young people, giving them incorrect and unsafe information, or cause them to be unsure as to what is acceptable and what isn't.
Along side this, they will not know the ages of the people they are talking to, or whether they are safe to talk to or not.
Age Rating - 13
Omegle is a free online chat and video chat website that allows users to socialize with others without the need to register.
The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously.
Users must be aged 13 years plus and any one aged between 13 and 18 are encouraged to gain parental consent.
Omegle offers a monitored service and an unmonitored service.
The monitored service is supposed to protect younger users from inappropriate content, including nudity and sexualised behaviour, however it has a reputation of not being very effective.
The unmonitored service is pretty much anything goes and has a reputation for a lot of sexualised content and nudity.
There is also a lot of reports of users dressing up as horror movie characters and trying to scare and intimidate others by making threats such as “I know where you live” and “I’m watching you”.
In our opinion Omegle is not suitable for children under 13 years of age due to the risk of being exposed to inappropriate and explicit content. Alongside this, the site encourages users to chat and interact with strangers.
We also find it hard to recommend Omegle for many users aged 13 and over due to the reasons already mentioned.
Age Rating - 13
Monkey, like Omegle is a random video chat app. It allows people to talk with strangers through video chat.
The same risks apply with this app.
As with Omegle, we do not think that Monkey is suitable for children and young people to use.
We have had several reports of them seeing rude and inappropriate content. The logo is deceptive, as an emoji monkey looks like an app suitable for children.
Age Rating - 13
Snapchat is an image sharing app.
It allows users to add friends and share photos and videos with one another. Pictures shared can last up to 10 seconds, or until they are closed.
Once a video has been played it will close. After this they are unavailable.
People can also set their photos and video's to be available for 24 hours, to do this they need to be sent to their Story.
People can also send private messages to others, which will become unavailable once read. It also uses location services, which if turned on will show where you are on a map for your friends.
This app has become popular with young people as it allows people to add filters to their pictures. these can be to change how the image looks to adding dog ears and other extras to people.
The app is quick to use, which may mean that images are sent before people check to see if it was appropriate or weather they were showing anything in the background.
We know that some young people have used Snapchat to send inappropriate images, as they believe they become unavailable, however anything that is posted online can never be deleted.
There is also the risk or the person receiving images to screen shot and share with others. The location services are also a concern, as it shows exactly where people are.
Xbox Game Pass and PS Now
Xbox and PlayStation both have a game streaming service.
This allows people to subscribe to the service and play their collection of games.
There is a good range of games, however not all are suitable for children and young people.
Please be aware of this if you are signing up for your child.
Always check what they are playing on and research whether the game is appropriate.
corner of the box. On the back of the box, you will also see content boxes that tell you what type of content you will find in the
PEGI also have a very good app that you can use. It contains all the information you
need about a particular games age rating and content. The app also has some great guides on setting up parental controls on all the different games consoles and devices your child might use.
details on age ratings.