LINE (12+, Social Networking)

LINE provides free VoIP (Voice over IP), video, and instant messaging services. It has a solid reputation as a WhatsApp alternative. Surpassing programs like Skype regarding registered and active users, the LINE app has an estimated worldwide user base of over 84 million people. The app features an exclusive sticker and emoji system and a social network integration called VOOM.

The LINE App’s Key Attracting Features

LINE, like WhatsApp, registers users by using their phone numbers instead of email. It also provides paid calls to mobile phones and landlines, free user-to-user calls, and text messaging.

With various social networking capabilities, LINE includes a timeline of social content that operates similarly to Facebook and Twitter timelines. Users may exchange multimedia data such as voice recordings, video files, and photos with other LINE users. Voice and video can be captured live.

The included free camera photo editing software lets you quickly take and gently modify photos before storing or sharing them. The app also features stickers and emoticons exclusive to LINE users, many of which can be purchased via the Theme Shop and Sticker Shop. The LINE Pay app supports in-app payments.

What Should Parents Look Out For With This App?

Social Media Integration Creates Possible Graphic Content Exposure

While LINE can chat only with known family members or friends, the social media tie-in can expose your child or teen to inappropriate content. Whether containing nudity or graphic messages, videos, and photos, the VOOM community shares can introduce X-rated content to unsuspecting minor audiences.

Hacking and Scamming Opportunities Are Present

Hackers are particularly active on LINE since the user population primarily comprises teenagers. As a result, once they hijack someone’s account, they have access to private messages, images, and videos, which they can use to blackmail the victim and extort money.

Hackers utilize a variety of tactics to deceive LINE users, and the LINE app lacks any mechanism to prevent such abuses. The app lacks security safeguards to prevent scammers from spreading phishing URLs and spyware-deploying programs.

As a result, scammers frequently send links to LINE users who, out of curiosity, click on the links and install malware or reveal credentials via phishing sites.

Parental Controls

The LINE app does not feature parental controls.

Potential Problems

Community Messaging Dynamics

A regular host of common problems that can occur while sharing content with a public community are present while using the LINE app. From cyberbullying to leaking private information to forming addictive habits, your child or teen can be affected by the influence of others.

Extensive In-App Purchases and Branching Apps

At its face, LINE is a messaging and VoIP app. While these features are the app’s primary functions, it is essential to note the vast scope of opportunities to make in-app purchases for various stickers, emojis, games (including other game apps), and more. This opens up plenty more things your child or teen may be looking to spend time on LINE that may not be presented to you as a parent upfront.


When dealing with a public forum communication app, it is recommended that your child be educated about the relevant and common dangers. Learning not to share private information, for example, is one of the things that can help protect them from the predatory intentions of others.

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About the Author

Clayton Cranford
Clayton Cranford is a retired Sergeant from Orange County Sheriff's Department in California and owner of Total Safety Solutions LLC. Clayton is one of the nation’s leading law enforcement educators on social media, child safety, and behavioral threat assessments. Clayton is the author of the definitive book on cyber safety for families, “Parenting in the Digital World.” Clayton has more than 20 years of teaching experience and was awarded the 2015 National Bullying Prevention Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, and the 2015 American Legion Medal of Merit. Clayton was a member of the County's Behavioral Threat Assessment Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, School Resource Officer program, and Juvenile Bureau.