Oconee Deputies Warn Parents About YikYak App Dangers - WSPA.com

Oconee Deputies Warn Parents About YikYak App Dangers

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Deputies Warn Of Potential YikYak App Dangers Deputies Warn Of Potential YikYak App Dangers
OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. - Oconee Deputies are warning parents to be aware of the potential dangers the new app, YikYak, poses to children and teens. YikYak uses GPS technology to track locations and lets people connect with others in a chat room anonymously.

The app was developed by two college students as a way to keep other students up to date on campus activities, as well as share news and voice complaints. The app does not require people to give their names.

Deputies are warning of the potential dangers after some people abused the app. Investigators say people used YikYak to call in bomb threats in Massachusetts, Georgia and California. Some school districts around the country banned the app following reports of cyber bullying.

In Oconee County, the school district blocked access to the app through the school's internet servers, but students can still access the app on their smart phones, through their own data plans. 

The Oconee County School District issued a letter to parents expressing their concerns about YikYak and advising parents of any potential dangers.

“Our main concern with this app is the potential misuse of this technology by someone making libelous statements under the assumption that they can remain anonymous,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “First, students must understand that nothing is truly anonymous and information can be traced back to the source through the use of GPS technology. Secondly, anyone posting anything libelous against another person can be charged criminally.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips for social media:

1. Log into all accounts manually. Don’t log into social media through a link in an email. The email could be a hidden way for someone to take over your account and get your personal information.

2. Lock your privacy settings to prevent others from seeing your personal information.

3. Do not allow or use GPS on your telephone or device. You can turn this off in your settings. A potential stalker could utilize this technology to figure out where you live or even identify your current location.

4. Refrain from posting your current location. By telling everyone you are currently in Atlanta Georgia or any other location lets a potential burglar know you are away from home and they can go burglarize and steal your property.

The app's developers told the website techcrunch.com that they will block younger people from using YikYak while on school campuses by using a technique called geo-fencing. 


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