Social media – connection, sharing, and discovery. Most people today, including teens and children, use social media to connect with family, make new friends, share their thoughts and message others. One such social media app is the Yik Yak app. But should kids use this app? Is the Yik Yak app safe for them? Let’s first discuss what the Yik Yak app is.
What Is The Yik Yak App?
Yik Yak is an anonymous social media app that allows users to anonymously connect with other people (your herd) within 5 miles of their location. Users can create posts (yaks) anonymously which their heard can upvote or downvote and comment on, similar to Reddit. There is your “herd” hot feed for users with the best yaks and National hot and top feeds.
To create an account, simply download the app from the App Store, enter your phone number, enter the sent code, and follow the on-screen prompts. You will need to allow Yik Yak access to your device’s location as this social media app is location-based. No other personal information is necessary or will be disclosed by the app.
This app seems like a safe space for users, especially teenagers, but is it really? Is Yik Yak safe and secure?
Is Yik Yak A Safe App?
As with most social media apps, Yik Yak has pros and cons. Yik Yak does what it can to protect its users and provides mental health and safety resources on its website. Besides the safety feature of being about to chat anonymously, other safety and security measures offered include:
- Have several restrictions about sharing personal information, bullying, harassment, threats, sexual content, and discussing derailment. The specifics can be viewed here.
- The only information needed on a user account is their user ID and password.
- All data within the app is encrypted.
- Users can report other users, comments, posts, etc. that violate Yik Yak’s restrictions.
How Is Yik Yak Dangerous?
The Yik Yak app is as safe as any other social media and messaging app. But what dangers could users, especially teenagers, encounter?
Cyberbullies have nothing better to do than prey on those online they find are easy prey. With Yik Yak, cyberbullies may find it hard to find vulnerable targets but can do so by seeing the type of content they post. Typically, there’s a significant difference between what younger users and adult users post. Cyberbullies can track such content and target younger users who are easier targets.
There’s nothing good to say about trolls. They cause mayhem wherever they go online for their own pleasure. Causing arguments when they aren’t warranted and publishing unrelated controversial comments to rile other users.
Scammers lurk on all apps, including Yik Yak. Posting about deals, giveaways, discounts, etc. that other users may be interested in.
With Yik Yak being popular among kids and teens for its anonymous feature, it is the perfect site for predators. They can hide their identity and appear as a teenager by what they post. Even though Yik Yak has restrictions about sharing personal information, predators are smart enough to work around such.
It could be hard to track a stalker if they have an anonymous account if you think about it, right? Not to mention that this app is location-based, meaning a stalker’s herd is within 5-miles of their location. With enough information from a nearby user, a person could easily stalk another in person.
So, is Yik Yak safe for kids and teens to use? In our opinion, it is. As a parent, it’s crucial to stay up to date with the Yik Yak app parental controls and settings updates. To ensure your child is safe on their phone and not being targeted by cyberbullies, predators, or stalkers, monitor their phone use with PhoneSpector.