Experts in digital safety
Even if you have been living under a rock for the last few years, it’s highly likely the dulcet tones of a K-pop song have filtered through its tough exterior, or someone’s tripped over said rock in the outdoor quest for new Pokémon. If something’s trending, you’ll hear about it – especially if you have kids. And if something’s trending, you’ll be sure to find it on Amino, or Amino Apps, a social networking site that brings fandoms together.
Just like many parents not on the latest social media platforms, we’re sure you have one thing in mind if your child has been using the app: Is Amino safe for my kids? To find out, let’s dive into the world of fandom together.
Amino Apps ratings
Apple: 12 years+
Android: Parental guidance
The Amino age requirement, as stated by the company’s support guidelines, is 13+ outside the EU, and 16+ for countries within the EU. If Amino discovers that a user is underage (even with parental permission) according to their rules, they will delete the profile.
What is Amino Apps?
Amino is a social networking app, full of user communities based on a certain topic. From VTubers, to mukbang videos, to learning how to crochet, the sky’s the limit: anyone can create a community to connect with users around the world. In communities, users can chat about their interests, share blog posts, images, stories, and even watch videos together and talk about it as they stream.
What do kids like about Amino?
Amino chats and communities are diverse in nature, meaning even if your kid has a niche interest, they’ll probably find somebody to talk about it with there!
Even with more popular interests, kids don’t always share hobbies with their friends. Amino lets them connect with others just as passionate about a topic as they are, from language learning to the latest show on Crunchyroll. Some of the most popular Amino communities include interests such as anime, K-Pop, and Pokémon. The app also features quizzes, polls, and image posts, which make it more interactive and appealing for younger users.
Kids who have different interests or little in common with their real-life friends might also find support from Amino online communities. The app is an easy way for people to chat about what they like, but it also can help users find a support group, where they can get help and advice from people who understand them or who have similar experiences.
Is Amino safe for kids to use?
While Amino users are usually on the younger side, the app has a few red flags for kids and concerned parents.
1. Adult content
While Amino’s guidelines prohibit sexual content, some fandoms are adult in nature, and as communities are not closed, younger users could easily stumble across inappropriate chats or topics, such as sexual role play or suggestive imagery.
2. Online predators
Just like with most social networks and online communities, not everyone who uses Amino is who they seem. Online groomers and predators can easily access communities, where they can get information about younger users, including likes, dislikes, and even personal information. This information helps them to connect with children and build trust. Kids could be using the chat feature, or taking part in roleplaying games with a predator, all without their knowledge.
Online trolling, mean comments, and arguments are all par for the course when it comes to how people interact on the internet these days. While many communities on Amino are full of positive, helpful people, there’s always someone who has to ruin it for everyone else.
When someone releases your private information online, this is called doxxing. Doxxers publish personal details like full names, addresses, or social media account names, so other users can find them and contact, or in many cases, harass them. Amino bans doxxing, hate speech, and bullying, but moderators can’t always catch it right in the moment.
Qustodio’s final advice on Amino Apps
In terms of safety, Amino is no more or less dangerous than any other social network. If you do decide to let your child set up a profile, provide them with the tools they need before letting them loose. Some ways you can do this include:
- Setting up their profile together, and downloading the app onto your phone so you can explore Amino yourself.
- Using a parental control tool like Qustodio to set healthy limits and boundaries, such as time they can be on the app for every day.
- Understanding what their hobbies and interests are, so you can also be involved- this way, they won’t always have to turn to the internet when they want to talk about the things they like.
- Regularly having conversations about online etiquette, risks, and behavior. Help your child understand what’s expected of them when they use social networks, so they have a sense of what’s right and wrong on the internet.
- Navigating your child through imaginary scenarios that they might face when using Amino. What should they do if somebody asks for their address? What should they do if they see someone being nasty? Who can they tell if a conversation makes them feel uncomfortable? These roleplays will help your child understand what they should do in a real-life situation, if they are ever faced with one.
Although Amino Apps has its positive side, just like with anything else on the internet, it’s important that your child is aware of the risks. If they want to use the app, make it clear that they can come to you if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or worried. With your guidance, and the right setup, we’re sure you’ll be able to help your kids enjoy their online hobbies in a safe, loving environment.