In the Digital Age, parents need to be constantly on guard against new threats in cyberspace to their kids. The latest one could be this app. It's part of a growing trend that exposes kids to dangerous behavior at best, and puts them in the path of predators at worst.
The site is called YouNow and its a live-streaming app where anyone can live stream whatever they are doing. Typically broadcasts are long, around at least 4 hours at a time. CBS News points out that often the time includes when the broadcaster is sleeping.
And it's not just for entertainment either. Users of the app can buy points to tip their favorite streamers, who then split their tips with YouNow.
Sounds innocent enough, but teens are using this app in masses and there's no telling what stupid things they can do online. Here's what CBS found:
Take for instance the British 14-year-old streaming in the #truthordare section who, on a recent evening, earnestly replied to a commenter who suggested girls can't make their elbows meet in front of their chests by trying over and over again to do just that, innocently pressing her breasts together each time.
Remember how hackers can get into baby monitors? This app seems to make that process easier for them.
There's the #sleepingsquad, a tag denoting broadcasters who leave the camera rolling as they sleep. If you're looking to watch kids alone in their bedrooms at night, this is definitely the easiest way to do it. No tree-climbing or binoculars required -- and you're considered a "viewer" rather than a Peeping Tom.
For me as a parent, the thought of my son using this app is absolutely terrifying. If you want to keep your kids off this site, I recommend blocking YouNow on all of their gadgets. Click here to learn how.