FBI issues warning about Yellow app

FBI issues warning about Yellow app

I initially posted about the app Yellow here. At the time of that posting I said that it reminded me of Omegle because it encouraged users to make new friends on Snapchat, you know, as in random strangers. Since that time it seems that Yellow has upped its game and turned into an almost duplicate clone of the infamous dating app Tinder. You swipe right for people you like and left for those that you don’t.

The problem with Yellow, as is with most apps, is there’s no real verification of identity, and anybody can enter any age they want. This has caused the FBI to issue a warning about the app stating that it is being used by predators. While I personally have yet to hear about an arrest made because of Yellow, that’s not to say it hasn’t happened.

I installed the app, and at first I entered my correct age upon installation, and it only allowed me to view people only as young as 18. While creepy for someone of my age, it’s still legal. However, when I reinstalled the app and entered my age as being 14, it allowed me to view the profiles of any of its users that are underage. You don’t even need a Snapchat account to use Yellow anymore.

I know it’s tough for parents to keep up with every app on their kids’ smart phones but I would recommend that parents keep their eyes out for this one. Again, I’ve included a picture of the app’s icon at right. Yep, as of right now, it’s just a yellow box.

If you think there’s no harm to your kids sharing pictures online remember this: it doesn’t take much information gleaned from the pictures of your kids for predators to find out where they live or go to school. All it takes is something as innocent as picture of them in a soccer uniform or having something with their school colors in the background of the picture, and those are only two examples.

While it has yet to reach the absurd levels of predators like Kik, if the FBI is worried about Yellow then so am I, and so should you if you have children.

New app to be on the look out for: Yellow

New app to be on the look out for: Yellow

While this article from the Daily Mail is sensationalized, it’s not without its merits concerning the new Snapchat companion app: Yellow.

Yellow is not made by Snap Inc. themselves, however it does encourage Snapchat’s users to ‘Make new friends on Snapchat. This reminds me of the random cam chat site Omegle, who encourages their users to ‘Talk to Strangers’. Yellow is being called the Tinder of Snapchat as users have to swipe left or right on their devices in order to show which of the other users they wish to chat with. Once a mutual swipe is done between two users they can start messaging each other through snapchat.

As is usual with any of these type of apps, anyone can lie about their age or who they are. Not only does that mean that underage kids can lie about being over 18, but predators can lie about their age and say that they’re only 18. That’s not even mentioning the predators who are looking for adult victims as well. Yellow’s developers say that there is an option to report users who are being abusive but that will be little comfort to anyone who is assaulted after meeting their Snapchat ‘friend’, or a minor being extorted after sending explicit pictures.

Yellow has every right to develop any app they want within reason however that doesn’t mean that as a parent you should trust them to protect your kids. App developers only worry about the amount of money they can make off the app. So if you are a parent to underage kids with smart phones or tablets, keep an eye out for this app and consider holding on to their devices at night. As a parent you are the only real line of defense between predators and your kids.