By: Clayton Cranford
Sarahah, an Arabic word that means, roughly, "honesty." It is a free social media app popular with teens.
Launched last year, anonymous messaging app Sarahah is no longer available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The messaging app hit popularity for allowing anyone to send messages to people in their contact list, without having to reveal their identity. It is pretty much similar to the confessions pages on social networking sites such as Orkut.
Developed by Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, Sarahah was quick to fall down in popularity as people starting misusing the app. Users receiving anonymous messages complained of abuse in the name of ‘honest feedback’.
Teens can still use Sarahah on their Internet browser. It allows you to send anonymous and totally unmoderated comments to any other user, whether you know them or not.
Cyber Safety Cop Recommendation:
This app is not safe for children. Anonymity encourages risky behavior in teens. The open nature of Sarahah's social network opens the door to predators or bullying.
Parent Action Plan:
1. Use a firewall content filtering service like OpenDNS.com to block access to Sarahah's website.
2. Talk to your child about the danger of talking to strangers online. Discuss the risks of anonymous communication.
3. Get educated and stay on top of your child's DIGITAL WORLD
Technology is a moving target, and the typical parent is too busy to follow every development. I have resources for you:
- Attend a Parenting in the Digital World seminar near you.
- Request information on how you can host a parent or student talk at your school.
- Get the book I wrote for you, Parenting in the Digital World: A Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Safety.
- Subscribe to my newsletter, if you haven't already.
- Follow my articles on Facebook and share them in your network. Share internet safety with your friends.