Age-Restricted applications such as WhatsApp and TikTok require the phone user to verify installation and phone number by sending an SMS message to the phone. This means that with a SIM from an adult mobile network, any child can simply lie about their age ( if the app even asks! ), and then access unsafe and age-inappropriate content.
ParentShield Bocks these messages and in stead of allowing them to go to the Child’s phone, makes them available to the parent via the ParentShield Portal.
As soon as a child tries to install WhatsApp, if they are on ParentShield, their parents are now notified immediately so they can decide whether or not to allow the installation.
If the parent decides to allow registration of the app then the code can be passed to the child. There is a ‘forward text’ button in the portal and this will forward the registration SMS automatically to the ParentShield phone if you decide that that particular application is OK to use. Remember though, that internet-based communication is largely untraceable and unmonitorable. See our page on monitoring a child’s WhatsApp for some more details This is why the age limits below are as they are – and the actual recommended ages are usually higher than this.
How Old Do Children Have to Be to Use These Apps?
- Facebook = 13
- WhatsApp = 16
- Snapchat = 13
- TikTok = 13 ( Recommended 16 )
- Instagram = 13 ( Recommended 15 )
- YouTube = 18 ( Allowed 13+ with Parental Supervision )
- Tumblr = 13
Many parents are unaware of the sort of content that can easily be accessed via these apps or that they are often used as instant message platforms where users can easily be contacted by strangers and used to share inappropriate content.