WhatsApp is an instant messenger app that allows users to send text messages, videos, images, and voice notes in one-on-one and group chats.
WhatsApp is recommended for users aged 16 or above, however there is no age verification process so your child may have signed up without your knowledge – this is worth checking.
My child has WhatsApp, what should I do?
Keep the communication lines open - talk to your child, so there are no online secrets and they know they can come to you if anything worries them, or they make a mistake.
It is advisable, as with all apps, to set some expectations around who your child accepts as contacts. For younger children this might be close family, or for tweens and teens family and close school friends. Have conversations around who your child interacts with online – do they know them in the real-world? Friends of friends online are also not your friends!
Remind your child that if they are in a group chat, what they say can be seen by everyone in that group so they should always be their best self. You have no idea when a rude or unkind comment, that might have seemed funny at the time, will reappear! We have seen that, over the last couple of weeks. It happens.
Check your account settings often to ensure that they are the safest they can be. For example:
Profile Photo and Status – Who can see this? Recommended – only my contacts
Groups – Can you be automatically added to groups by other contacts? You can change that so no one can add you without permission
Blocked – Do you know you can add a contact to a blocked list so they can’t message you?