Is houseparty app safe for your kids? Before answering that question, let’s go into more detail what the houseparty app is all about.
The Houseparty app is basically a video sharing app that allows users to play games and video chat together online.
It was launched in 2016 but it is becoming even more popular now with people self-isolating at home. It has been downloaded over 2 million times.
The houseparty app is now regarded as a viral sensation
However, the big question remains is the houseparty app safe for kids?
Now, let’s get into more detail about the app itself.
Is houseparty app safe? watch the video below
What is the houseparty app?
The app is owned by the developers of Fortnite.
Using this app your child can play in-app games, quizzes and make video calls arranged like a real party.
How does the houseparty app work?
- After downloading the app you will be asked to submit your name, email address, mobile phone number and a user name.
- The app will need access to your Facebook and Snapchat account.
- It will connect you with your friends from Facebook and Snapchat who are now using the Houseparty app
- The app sends a notification to your friends each time you are logged in.
- Users then can join a ‘room’ where all their friends can hang out.
- Rooms can be limited to just conversation with people you know or can be left open to let strangers in.
- Your child can chat with 2-8 people at the same time
- To make video calls you can just click the “hand” emoji and to play games just click on the dice icon
Is houseparty app free?
Yes, the app is free to download.
Houseparty app age rating:
The houseparty app has been rated for age 12+
The app is free to download and is available on Google and Apple store.
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Is houseparty app safe?
Numerous posts have appeared on social networks from users alleging that the app has resulted in their other online accounts – including Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify – being hacked.” The Telegraph
Houseparty app claims that accounts are safe and no passwords are being collected by their app.
Despite putting out a statement to reassure users, plenty of users have opted out from the app in the fear of being hacked.
Houseparty tweeted the following:
We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumours were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Houseparty app developer is stopping development to address the security issues relating to the app.
Hence, with the current issues faced by houseparty app, this app is deemed not safe.
The last thing we all want is our passwords being hacked.
House party app Update June 2020
The Scottish Sun reported that the House party app is being used by gangsters and dealers to recruit children
Besides the house party app, gangsters are also using Fortnite to recruit children to deliver drugs during the pandemic.
While being on the app, the dealers will approach children asking if they would like to make some money.
They are even getting children to recruit their friends to deliver drugs.
Children will then pose as take-away food deliveries to deliver the items. This tactic is currently used by County Line gangs
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Another safety issue with houseparty app:
Houseparty “bombing” is a new phenomenon where people enter Houseparty rooms and display p0rnographic images.
These people can be kicked out by changing the privacy setting of room to “private”.
However, the default setting of the rooms is set to “public”.
Also, the fact that the default setting is “public”, strangers can enter chat rooms and be chatting with your child.
Hence, making this app unsafe especially for children.
How to control the people I add on houseparty app?
The good thing is when signing up on this app, you will be asked to connect to your Facebook or Snapchat account.
So the people who will show up on the houseparty app will be your friends.
You don’t need to add everyone from your contact. Because by doing so you might increase the chances of other people joining your chats.
But do bare in mind, that other people will get a notification once you have joined the app. You can always deny friend request on this app.
Can I stop random people jumping into my Houseparty conversations?
Yes, you can do this by making “rooms” to private once you have all the people you want to talk too in the room.
Houseparty delete account:
This is another problem with this app.
You can delete the Houseparty app. However, if you are an Android user to delete your actual account you will need to email email@example.com.
When emailing them don’t forget to ask for your email address, profile picture and phone number, to be removed from the app
Unless you are using an iPad or iPhone then you can delete straight from your device.
This is how to delete your account on an iPhone
- Click on settings
- Then click Privacy
- Click “delete account”
- Enter your password and click the “delete account” button to confirm
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Should I allow my child to download the houseparty app?
The chats in this app are not moderated, hence your child can be subjected to cyberbullying.
They can also be exposed to inappropriate content online.
The biggest worry about this app is the ability for strangers to join chats. Even though your child will get a notification when strangers are in the room it still remains a worry.
Keep in mind that since this is a video group chat, images and videos can be screenshot and shared on social media.
Hence, this app is not safe for younger children.
What should I do if my child still insists on wanting the houseparty app?
- We don’t think the houseparty app is safe for younger children
- If your child is a teenager then talk to your child about the app and the safety issues around it.
- Let them know to not share private images and texts
- Encourage them to keep all chat rooms to ‘private’
- Let them know to not share location and any other personal information on the app.
Conclusion: Is the houseparty app safe?
Houseparty app can be a fun app for older children who would like to stay connected with their friends.
But it is important to keep in mind the safety issues around this app. Once again, we believe the houseparty app is not safe for younger children.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out the Personalised growth-mindset kit you can use at home or in the classroom.