Police warn parents of 14 apps that could be dangerous for kids

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) – Law enforcement agencies across the country are warning parents of 14 popular apps that could put kids in danger of predators.

Police are urging parents to check their children’s phones and the apps on their devices as this is the best way to defend against possible predators.

Some tips to protect children according to police are:

  • Approve every app on your kid’s phone
  • Check their privacy settings
  • Speak with your children about phone use, app use and social media

14 apps that police say could be dangerous for children. (Source:Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office’ Facebook)

Here are the 14 apps police say parents need to be aware of:

SNAPCHAT: allows users to take pictures and videos that disappear with new features like ‘stories’ that allow users to view content for 24 hours and see your location.

KIK: allows anyone to direct message instead of text messaging and gives unlimited access to anyone, anytime.

YELLOW: allows teens to flirt with one other similar to Tinder.

HOLLA: video chat app that allows users to meet through their phones across the world in seconds.

OMEGLE: allows users to chat for free and encourages anonymous chatting with strangers.

BUMBLE: similar to Tinder, a dating app that requires women to make first contact, though kids are known to create fake accounts and falsify their age.

WISHBONE: allows users to compare photos to each other and rate one another on a scale.

CALCULATOR%: secret app that allows users to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.

ASK.FM: notorious for cyberbullying, this app encourages to anonymously message others to ask questions.

WHISPER: anonymous social media app that allows users to share secrets with others and can share users’ locations so they can meet.

BURNBOOK: allows users to post anonymous rumors through text, audio and pictures.

HOT OR NOT: allows users to rate profiles and find people in their area and chat.

LIVE.ME: live streaming app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can see the broadcaster’s location.

INSTAGRAM: one of the most popular apps among children, kids are known to use this app for fake accounts and to text since the conversation is deleted when someone leaves the chat.

These are only examples of potentially dangerous apps, and parents should monitor all apps and note if they offer messaging features.


TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children

TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children


  • TeenSafe app is found to have leaked user data
  • It reportedly exposed Apple IDs and their passwords in plaintext
  • The vulnerable servers have been disabled

TeenSafe, an app that lets parents monitor their children’s text messages, social media, and phone location, is found to have leaked data related to thousands of its users that include both parents as well as children. The data, which was reportedly stored on two of the vulnerable servers backed by Amazon Web Services, compresses the email addresses of parents that are associated with the teen monitoring app, alongside the Apple IDs of children and their plaintext passwords. It is also said that at least 10,200 records from the past three months were put at risk.

UK-based security researcher Robert Wiggins reported that two of the TeenSafe servers had exposed the user data, as spotted by ZDNet. While the company pulled the affected servers shortly after it received an alert, ZDNet was able to verify some of the data exposed. It is reported that the servers were unprotected and accessible without requiring a password. Further, as the app asks users to disable the two-factor authentication, attackers can view personal data only using the credentials that surfaced on the servers.

Among other data surfaced, there were the email addresses and passwords of the parents using the TeenSafe app in addition to the email address of children that were used as their Apple ID. It is also reported the device names of children who were being tracked using the app were spotted alongside their device’s unique identifier. Likewise, the data also included error messages associated with a failed account action – in some instances highlighting the time when parents weren’t able to identify their children’s real-time location. All this was notably stored in plaintext instead of under any encryption. However, the company claims on its website that its app is “secure” and uses encryption to protect the data.

ZDNet’s Whittaker verified the leak by reaching out the parents whose email addressed were spotted in the leaked data. Moreover, various email addresses of children were found to be associated with their high schools.

“We have taken action to close one of our servers to the public and begun alerting customers that could potentially be impacted,” a TeenSafe spokesperson said in a statement to ZDNet.

Since the vulnerable servers are no longer live for access, attackers won’t be able to obtain the data. However, TeenSafe hasn’t provided any clarity on how it is set to protect their servers in future.


Mayor to hold education Q&A for Belle Haven parents

Belle Haven Elementary School, which uses the adjacent Belle Haven branch of the Menlo Park Library as its library during school hours, is part of the Ravenswood City School District. Many neighborhood residents want to leave the district and possibly create a new one in its place, due to poor academic scores. (Kevin Kelly / Daily News)

Belle Haven Elementary School, which uses the adjacent Belle Haven branch of the Menlo Park Library as its library during school hours, is part of the Ravenswood City School District. Many neighborhood residents want to leave the district and possibly create a new one in its place, due to poor academic scores. (Kevin Kelly / Daily News)

Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith has scheduled a meeting for Belle Haven residents later this month to discuss long-standing concerns over their children’s education.

“For years, we’ve been hearing from residents in Belle Haven who are not happy with education … and are asking for help, for assistance with this,” Keith said. “I wanted to start the conversation. … It’s the start of a community-driven conversation.”

At the meeting, titled “Community Conversation: Improving Quality of Education,” Keith will hold a question-and-answer session with residents alongside a panel that includes Suzanne Carrig, director of policy development and administrative programs at the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and Joe Ross, president of the San Mateo County Board of Education. The meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Menlo Park Senior Center (110 Terminal Ave.).

Unlike the rest of Menlo Park, Belle Haven is part of the Ravenswood City School District, which also includes East Palo Alto and whose history of poor academic scores has driven many in the community to send their children to other districts.

Prior to the Q&A, Carrig will give a presentation regarding possible tools the neighborhood could use to improve the district, alter boundary lines or create a new district. She said creating a new district can be a very complicated process, one she has never seen during her 19 years with Santa Clara County.

“When you create a new school district, it’s not even a local decision, it goes to the state,” Carrig said. “In cases of changing boundary lines from one district to another, that’s a local decision that can be appealed. … For the most part, the activity we see in Santa Clara County is transfers, moving from one district to another.”

The overwhelming majority of Ravenswood’s students, about 89 percent, live in poverty. Roughly 83 percent are Latino, 7 percent are Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 7 percent are African-American and the remainder are other races. Last year, 19 percent of Ravenswood students scored proficiently in English and 12 percent proficiently in math on state tests — only a 1-point gain in English, and no change in math from 2015. The scores are markedly worse than state scores for low-income students of all three predominant ethnic groups in Ravenswood.

Carrig said the state doesn’t use socioeconomic status as a criterion for creating new districts, but it would not be out of the question.

“I would think, although I can’t say with any certainty, that they would look at this as well,” she said.

She added there are ways to file complaints against school districts with counties’ offices of education.

“County offices are required to look at particular schools, making sure they provide proper books and the facilities are clean and operating, and there is a percentage of qualified teachers,” Carrig said.

“Everybody has the right to make sure their kids are getting an adequate education.”


Medical college admissions: Maharashtra students, parents move SC against change in domicile norms

Maharashtra Students and parents have challenged the decision by the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court to relax domicile rules for admission to medical and dental colleges.

One in every two students applying for medical and dental seats in Maharashtra is not from the state. Angry with the state’s decision to relax norms and allow non-domicile students to apply for medical seats, medical aspirants and their parents from Maharashtra filed a petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) figures show that the number of registrations of students who have cleared both class 10 and 12 from the state is 49,768, whereas those who have only cleared Class 12 is 48,977.

Explaining why the Class 12 numbers were high, a parent said “Many students come to Mumbai to prepare for medical entrance exams and appear for Class 12 exams in Maharashtra after sitting Class 10 exams in their respective states.” He was of the opinion that they should not be given the advantage meant for children with state domicile.

On July 7, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court relaxed domicile norms for medical and dental aspirants in the state. Originally, those who had cleared class 10 and 12 from the state or had a domicile certificate – a document showing that the student had lived in the state for the required number of years – were eligible for state quota seats. Now the rule making Class 10 compulsory has been dropped. “Those who have cleared Class 12I from Maharashtra, even without Class 10 from the state, will be eligible for state quota seats from now,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director of DMER.

Commenting on the move another parent said “Earlier this year SC was very clear that no more cases on medical and dental admissions should be entertained by High Courts till admissions are over. How can the Aurangabad bench allow such changes to the admission process while the registrations are on?”

DMER’s decision to announce a revised provisional state merit list before the first seat allocation list for state quota seats has brought some relief to the parents and students. “We hope the SC will support our stand before the first seat allotment list is released,” one of them said.

While the petition is up for hearing in SC this week, the first seat allotment list for admissions to state quota seats in government-run and private medical and dental institutes in the state will be released on July 25.