Parents, do you know about these apps, sites? For your kids' safety, you should

By Tera Roberson - Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON - Parents are being warned about online apps that are being used to lure teens into dangerous, and even deadly, situations.

Stories in the news

Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old from Utica, New York, was popular on various social media platforms. On July 14, she died after her throat was slit by Brandon Clark, a 21-year-old who she reportedly met on Instagram. After killing her, Clark then posted pictures of her lifeless body to the gaming site Discord, telling Devins’ followers, “You’re gonna have to find someone else to orbit.”  

On Aug. 2, a frantic Alabama father searched the Houston area for his 16-year old son. The Alabama teen had been missing for 13 days, and his father suspected he was lured to Houston by someone he met online, on Discord. On Aug. 3, he returned home safely.

More than just a gaming platform

Discord is a free voice, video and text app for teens 13 and up. Gamers can use the app to help each other with strategies and game moves. However, parents should be aware there is no way to actually know that your child is interacting with another teenager, therefore heightening the possibility for them to interact with predators.

Just one of many sites

Rania Mankarious of Crime Stoppers of Houston warns there are many sites with millions of teen users parents should be aware of.

Some of those sites include: 4Chan, which is a bulletin-board site that allows users to post, comment and share images anonymously.

Tellonym, which allows users to share their Tellonym link to social platforms like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram and have their friends reply to questions anonymously.

Harris County Precinct 4 also released a list of 14 Apps parents should know about:

 

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