Welcoming Complete Strangers Into Your Daughter’s Lives, House, Bedroom
Walking up to a complete stranger or group of strangers is not encouraged; neither is sharing your personal details, location or private information. However, when your daughter uses the app ‘Houseparty’, this is what happens. Protective boundaries are set and rules established for day-to-day movements and interactions with people in the community, but online movements and boundaries are just as important. Houseparty accesses your daughters microphone, camera and location services. Unless a room is ‘locked’ anyone is able to join, exposing young people to a number of vulnerable situations and explicit material.
As well as potentially exposing your daughters to online predators, the app's design presents a number of potential risks and problems. Strangers can privately message and text once in a chat room. There are no privacy settings offered in the app or by its maker and so, a stranger can hide their identity, making tracing near impossible.
I strongly encourage all parents to sit with their daughters and discuss the use of the app and if its risks outweigh its features. Clear boundaries are needed to ensure we keep our girls safe online and steps put in place to support young people should they be exposed to content or people who make them feel uncomfortable.
For further information and support, please visit the Carly Ryan Foundation website.
Acting Director of Students