A Parent’s Guide to Child Safety on Periscope
American teens are obsessed with this new social media network. But is it a harmless app, or far from it? Find out everything you need to know.
For today’s preteen and teenager, Periscope is the newest must-have app. Linked to Twitter, it’s a live-streaming app, which allows its users to broadcast and watch videos in real-time. Other accounts can leave comments on these public broadcasts. Like any social media app, many parents are concerned about the safety of Periscope. Use Applock on your child’s phone to protect sensitive apps like Periscope with a password:
The Dangers of Periscope
There are definite safety concerns when it comes to Periscope, including cyberbullying, sexual harassment, and potential access to your child’s location. Since Periscope isn’t monitored, its users are often free to behave however they choose. Trolls are numerous, including ones who post inappropriate comments or stream NSFW content, which children shouldn’t be viewing.
Other accounts can potentially uncover your child’s location, if they aren’t careful. If the location feature isn’t disabled, Periscope automatically tags broadcasts with a GPS marker. These markers are also timestamped, allowing the worrisome possibility of tracing a user’s movements.
Also, every video stream is available for 24 hours after going live, and can be rewatched and even recorded by other users. There are no “take backs” when it comes to public broadcasts. If your child makes a poor judgement call in his/her video, it could be witnessed by hundreds of people. After all, Periscope has over 10 million registered users.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe
If your child is using Periscope, there are a few steps you can take to help ensure his/her safety. Firstly, you should create your own account. That way, you can personally monitor your kid’s activity. Tell them to never give out personal information online, including in accidental situations, like showing their house or school during a broadcast. These landmarks can be traced back to them. On a similar note, make sure that your child’s location services are disabled.
Also, you should ask to see which accounts they are following, and who follows them back. A Periscope broadcast doesn’t have to be made public. Private broadcasts are more secure, since only selected accounts will be able to view their stream. For any parent, your child’s safety is the biggest concern. With proper supervision, Periscope can be a fun, interactive tool, which offers a dynamic look at the world in real time.