Older News  » What parents need to know about Kik

Last updated 2:27 PM on 7 May 2014

It seems that every few months a new social media platform or mobile app emerges and becomes popular with young people in our school community.

Suddenly "everyone" is on it, according to our children. It's hard for most adults to keep up.

Many parents will have recently heard about Kik Messenger and are wondering if it's safe for children. Here are some facts from the School A to Z website's technology guide:

What is Kik Messenger?

Kik Messenger is a free texting app available on iPhone, iPad, Ipod touch, Android, Windows, Samsung Galaxy and Blackberry phones.

How does it work?

Account holders use Kik to text photos, videos and "Kik cards" - which can include YouTube videos, GIFs and drawings - to other users for free.

Why is Kik useful?

Kik is particularly popular with younger teens who generally have a limited texting plan or use an iPod touch because the application gives them access to free messaging.

What do you need to keep in mind about your children and Kik?

The new version of Kik is rated +17 in iTunes because it allows users to send content from other sites like YouTube and Reddit.

The biggest problem is that users often share their private Kik username on other public social networks like Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr.

Any user who knows your child's username can then send them a Kik message. Instagram and Twitter are full of #kikme requests, with teens posting their usernames. There have been many reported cases of inappropriate adult contact because of this.

Find out more on the School A to Z website.