Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Kik

Kik

Kik is a free instant messaging app that lets you send text, photo and video messages to individuals or groups. You can also play games and talk to chatbots. There’s a Meet New People feature that lets you start a conversation with random users.

13+

Official age rating

15+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
11+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Parents' and children's view of risks...

Sexual

High Risk

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Bullying

Medium Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On Kik safety

In settings, show your child how to report or block contacts.

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Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

It’s important to check the privacy settings on your child’s Kik account.

We recommend only sharing things with friends and always keeping your location private.

You can visit Kik for specific information on keeping your account private.

There’s a feature on Kik called Meet New People that lets you start a conversation with either a random stranger or someone with similar interests to you.

You won’t see the other person’s username but you can share usernames and add each other if you choose to.

Make sure you talk to your child about who they should be talking to and what information they should be giving out.

Kik has advice and information on how to keep your child safe on the app, which we recommend reading and talking about together.

Your child might receive upsetting or negative things from other users on Kik. If this happens, they might want to report or block them.

Kik has specific guidance on how to report other users and how to block someone.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Kik

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Kik?

The main things they told us they don’t like about Kik were:

• Being contacted by people they don’t know
• You can be sent nasty messages

This app is unsafe as you can be chatting to strangers across the world and they have access to your account. And those strangers could be anyone.

Young person, 18

What do children and young people like about Kik?

The main things that children and young people told us they like about Kik were:

  • Meeting new people and making friends
  • Talking to your friends and sharing funny posts

It's nice and simple. I have met people who help me through my day-to-day life. They help me relax, care for me when I'm sad. It's very easy and simple to use. The block and report system is very easy to use.

Boy, 15

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Kik:

Signing up

Most parents thought it was too easy for a child to sign up to Kik.

Appears to have little requiring you to verify who you are. They don’t ask for identifying information in the way that other apps do.

Dad of 16 year old

Very simple and quick, only name, email, birthday and password required. Didn't ask me to agree to any T&Cs or anything like that.

Dad of 8 and 11 year old girls

Reporting

Overall, most parents thought it was easy to find ways to report unsuitable content and behaviour and block people from contacting you.

It is not too difficult to report or block someone on Kik.

Father of three children

Once you suss out the app layout and account settings it’s relatively easy.

Father of 9 year old girl

Privacy settings

There are no real privacy options other than using phone contacts and a block list.

Dad of 2 and 8 year old girls

Safety and support

Only advice I had was a pop up that said that a group discussion was "PG13" and that it would be monitored for inappropriate content. No links to define what PG13 meant in real terms.

Dad of 8 and 11 year old girls

 

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