One of the challenges for parents and teens is keeping up with all the new features added to apps. A year ago, a parent may have agreed to a simple photo sharing social network. Flash forward a year later and that same app now allows users to share videos and send direct messages. Kik messenger has added many new features over the years including video. Here is the answer to a question I received about recently about privacy and Kik videos.
Q: If someone invites me on Kik what should I do? How can I make a video private on Kik?
A: A new feature on Kik is the ability for users record videos of up to 15 seconds and share them during a chat. Users can also share videos previously saved on their smartphone. Friends can save shared videos by tapping on the video and choosing save or opening it up on full-screen and choosing the download arrow.
If you receive a video from someone who you have not chatted with before, their message will first appear in the “New Chats” section. In this section, profile pics are blurred and you cannot see the message until you open it. If you know them, you can start a chat. If you do not, you can delete, block or report them as spam.
Everyone should be skeptical of these new messages. Unfortunately, Kik does have a problem with porn bots. These bots seem to be real people but they are not. These are fake profiles designed to scam people. If an invite looks phony or contains suspicious links, you should mark it as spam and report it to Kik.
As for privacy, Kik is a messaging app that allows the people you are chatting with to see your video. It is not like Instagram or Twitter where a user can have a public account and anyone can see it. Remember, people you are chatting with can save videos and pictures as well as take screenshots of conversations. Kik chats do appear on Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. Nothing is ever truly private online so always be careful about what you choose to share.
Below are links to a few past posts where I have shared some Kik privacy tips. The key to privacy on Kik is keeping your username off public networks and only sharing your username with friends. Your username is your identity on Kik. Once someone knows or guesses it, they can send you messages. The Kik Help Center is an excellent resource and offers these tips for protecting your username.
- Turn off Address Book Matching. This will stop Kik from looking for other Kik users in your contact list on your smartphone. Now, only the friends you personally tell will have your username.
- Choose a username that is not easy to guess by using letters, numbers and special characters.
- Do not share your username on public social networks like Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram.
- Keep your username off your social network profile. Even if your account is private on Instagram or Twitter your profile is still public. Never include your Kik username on your profile.