Aug 14, 2013

Vine: Is it safe for teens?

With new social networks, photo-sharing, and now video-sharing apps popping up all the time, it can be difficult for parents to keep up with which apps and platforms are safe for kids. Twitter’s new Vine app, which allows users to create and share looping videos has become increasingly popular with the teenage crowd, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Here’s the scoop.

### What is Vine?

Vine is Twitter’s video-sharing app, and if you’re at all familiar with Twitter, then you already know a lot about Vine as well. The two are fairly similar except that Twitter is for messages and photos and Vine is strictly for videos. As with its parent company, brevity is the essence of Vine. The app only allows videos that are precisely 6 seconds in length. To create a video on Vine, you simply download the free app on your Android or iPhone, point your phone to whatever it is you want to record and then hold your finger on the screen. That’s it. You can then share your video with the Vine community or all of Twitter and Facebook with a simple tap of the screen.

### The Problem with Vine for Teens

The problem with Vine is that once teens download the app, they have access to all kinds of videos—the good, the bad, and the sexually explicit. Vine is supposedly for users ages 17 and over, but all your teen needs to do is tap to confirm his age, so the age restriction is fairly useless. Of course, viewing inappropriate videos is just half of the problem with Vine. The risk of your teen creating and sharing mature content of their own is a very real one. Add to that the capability of finding users in your area using the app’s geo-locater, and you can see how Vine could potentially become a predator’s playground.

### What Parents Can Do

If you want to protect your teen from the dangers of Vine, then you need to restrict access to the app. With Qustodio, you can easily block Vine and other inappropriate apps from your child’s Smartphone. Just know that your teen could still view and create videos with Vine using a friend’s phone, so it’s best to talk to your child regularly about responsible use of technology. Be sure your child knows that it’s never ok to share his or her location or other personal information online. What seems like silly fun in the moment could end in embarrassment or even tragedy.

How do you monitor your child’s app use? Share your tips below!

How can Qustodio help protect your family?

Qustodio is the best way to keep your kids safe online and help them create healthy digital habits. Our parental control tools ensure they don't access inappropriate content or spend too much time in front of their screens.