10 apps parents should watch out for

Posted at 6:00 AM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 10:11:01-04

It was two years ago when a casual conversation on social media soon escalated.

A local teen — a sophomore at Brooklyn High School at the time — went missing. 

The girl's family was overwhelmed by anguish until a tip led police to finally find the girl in Missouri held against her will. 

Cleveland FBI special agent Vicki Anderson says her colleagues are constantly working on locals cases that involve internet predators preying on kids. 

"Every time we've ever had a child missing, the first we look at is what social media were they on, what computers or phones they had access to," she told News 5. 

So what app should parents be aware of?

  1. Yellow - The app allows users to connect with a quick swipe. Once they're connected, Yellow users can swap messages and even pictures — similar to the popular dating app Tinder. Except primarily teens are using it. 
  2. Party in my Dorm - The description reads: "Join a club and find a party, or just chill and chat with cool girls and boys. You can be whoever you want as long as you like to have fun!" Police say a Parma teen who went missing earlier this year and was later found in Massachusetts was using this app to communicate with the man she was found with. 
  3. Snapchat - The app is popular because you can send a photo that disappears after 10 seconds. But kids may not realize someone can screenshot the picture and keep it forever
  4. KIK - A local 15-year-old girl was abducted in 2015 by a man she met on this app. KIK let's users chat, text and share photos. A lot of kids and teens are using this app because you can be anonymous and there are no texting limits.
  5. What's App - WhatsApp lets users exchange unlimited text, audio, photo and video messages over the Internet, so you might not see an increase in data on your bill, even though your kid is texting more often. 
  6. Omegle - This app allows users to talk with strangers via video. The app picks a person at random and the users talk one-on-one.
  7. Calculator% - It's a photo sharing app disguised as a calculator. Anyone who starts this application looks as a calculator but if you put in passcode it will open up private area.
  8. Vaulty - Allows users to hide videos and photos. 
  9. It seems innocent enough. The app allows users to create and share their own lip-synced videos. But some kids say they've received inappropriate messages from predators. 
  10. Finstagram - This one is NOT an app. But parents should still be aware. Think you've seen your child's Instagram account? They may have a second one. Some teens are setting up 'Finstas' where they showcase their real lives.