Information for parents about WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a popular aap amongst children because it is free and it enables children to exchange texts, photos and videos, as long as they have access to the internet. Messages can be sent to individuals or groups. Whatsaap does not store messages once they are delivered, but they can be stored on the phones of other users they are sent to.
What are the dangers of WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is meant for users who are 13 or older, but it doesn’t enforce this age restriction and does not restrict adult content. This means that anyone who has your child’s contact information can potentially send them inappropriate content. In addition, children can be included in group chats without their consent and when in a group, everyone in the group then has access to their contact details. Through this sharing of their information, children can be contacted and groomed by online predators.
WhatsApp is not recommended for children, but if you do allow your child to use it we recommend that you customise their privacy settings by switching off WhatsApp’s GPS location feature and make sure that they know how to block and report anything which they are worried about. We strongly recommend that you check your child’s phone regularly to ensure their safety.
WhatsApp safety guide by internetmatters.org