Many kids and teens are drawn to anonymous messaging apps, and while this can be harmless it can also come with dangers.
29-year-old Kevin Alexander Guerrero-Beltran was arrested in Arab this week for traveling to meet a child for a sex act. Police say Guerrero-Beltran used the Whisper app to message the child.
Whisper allows people to post anonymous meme-like messages. The app is intended for people to post their confessions. Users can like and reply to the posts and join group chats.
The app also asks to share the user’s location when it’s first downloaded. This makes it easy for a predator to track down another user.
Lieutenant Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said, “People can enter what their interests are, what their locations are, and it groups you with other people that have the same interests and locations.”
Shaw says that parents should monitor what their kids do online.
“The simplest thing is to monitor what your child is doing. Keep an eye on them, and don’t let them find themselves in a position where they put themselves in danger by communicating with somebody anonymously or secretly,” said Shaw.