I wrote a post last year on the pros and cons and what to do Before You Buy Your Child That Cell Phone. There you will see how to set parental controls on your child's smartphone. You will also see how to set limits and rules with your child that come with the privileges of having a smartphone.
There are also good parental control apps that can be an added measure for your child's security. I use Qustodio
Another good one to use is Bark
Even with these parental apps you need to set approved websites and apps as well as unapproved. That is difficult to do if you do not know which sites you should be blocking. So here is a current list of websites and apps your child should avoid and, in the very least, monitored by you.
Websites and Apps to Block on Your Kids
Snapchat is a photo and video-sharing social media platform. A 'snap' is taken and then sent to different people on your friend list. In Snapchat, the image or video can be seen for a short while (e.g. ten seconds) before disappearing.
The app has an age rating of 12+. A potential danger with this app is that the image doesn't disappear completely. Misuse of the app may result in harassment or bullying.
It is primarily an app for a hook-up and dating. Children as young as 13 can sign up for this app. Younger if they us a false age. This should be obvious but 13 year olds or any minor should not be allowed to have it.
They also risk meeting potentially dangerous strangers online and in person.
3) Yik Yak
Is used for college-age kids, which acts as a bulletin board but can serve as a messaging board for underage kids that is hard to monitor.
Another messaging app few parents are aware of that makes it hard for parents to monitor who their children are talking to.
Parents need to be aware of Chatroulette's reputation as a "predator's paradise". It allows for random chat with strangers that appear on screen via text, audio, or video. It is notable for the widespread inappropriate sexual behavior.
This is another chatting site that allows for video and text to anonymous and complete strangers.
This domain site allows kids to access inappropriate websites to get around filters that usually work well to block the world wide web.
Discord is a chat site and app that allows for chat rooms which makes it hard for supervision. Kids can come across some inappropriate images, chats, and videos there, as well as predators waiting to groom them.
This list is forever changing, and it is best to keep up with it month to month. If you are not a parent who can keep up with the trends (you have to stay on top of it), your child should not have access to a smartphone. Use these 8 websites and apps I provide here and go into whichever parenting app you have and block them ASAP.
Odell Terrell is a mental health counselor in Greensboro, NC. He graduated with a MS in Counseling from Divine Mercy University in Arlington, VA, and places an emphasis on working with spiritual integration, adults and adolescents, trauma, family and children, and grief and loss. Odell received his undergraduate degree from the University of St. Leo's in St. Leo Florida, with a degree in Psychology. He has spent his last 15 years working in the field of emergency services. It is in working with people in emergency situations, both patients and first responders, that Odell has learned how to deal respectively with people in crises mode, helping instill a sense of hope and healing. Odell is happily married, for 17 years, and is the father of 9 children and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his family and child therapy practice.