We are mindful that there are many apps and websites that are children are aware of that could possibly be unsafe, The following information from South West Police refers to apps and websites that have appeared in child sexual exploitation or abuse cases in the South West region.
Wickr is a communications app similar to Whatsapp. Users are able to communicate 1:1, in
groups of up to 10 people and can share files, images and voice call.
All messages are end to end encrypted making the content shared secure, other security
features include a virtual “shredder” where the app overwrites deleted content and an
expiration timer can be set on messages to delete, this is a similar feature to snapchat.
The app can be used on several devices such as phones, tablets and desktops making it
easily accessible. The app does not link to contacts already stored on the device allowing
users to have a separate contact list for this app.
The app is aimed at users aged 13 or over however there is no age verification in place,
according to the developer website any users discovered to be underage will be removed
from the app.
Further information and frequently asked questions can be found on the website
Goodnight is a random voice-chatting app that allows users to talk to random users for free.
Purchases can be made on the app to connect to others faster. Users can add their interests
and language to their profile; this information is used to match with other like minded
people. The app will match users from all over the world for a 7 minute call. Users can
decide whether they want to keep in touch via message after the initial call.
Goodnight do not specify age restrictions on their website however the Apple App Store
have given this an age rating of 17+ and Google Apps have stated this as 18+, this is due to
nature of the app and the potential for users to be exposed to mature content. There is no
age verification process in place for this app.
The app icon features a cartoon cat which is likely to be appealing to children and young
people, at a glance the icon could also be deceptive to guardians.
Further information can be found on the website
A parent contacted police after discovering the app on her 13yr old daughter’s phone,
messages were seen between her and an unknown male suspected to reside outside of the
UK. The male had asked her daughter for pictures which she sent to him, none of these
were intimate images.