Okay, so you’ve found new kik users to message, whether you’ve found lists of users online or you’ve joined a public group,
or even something else. Now you’ve got to send them a message if they haven’t reached out to you first.
That’s until when you recall stories you’ve heard on the news or online, stories that will send shivers up your spine and make even the most absent of parents cringe. It’s happened far too often; young people, usually kids, using Kik to chat with complete strangers who could be anywhere in the world, and they strike up a friendship with the person, and sometimes they agree to meet in person.
That’s when it goes horribly, irrevocably wrong.
Pedophiles lurk on Kik because of it’s very lax rules and security features, and you don’t even have to include a phone number or a legitimate email address to signup. They know kids flock to Kik, and all they have to do is sit and wait, if they’re not already actively seeking out children on the messaging app.
This new connection you’ve made on Kik could lead to a positive, fun experience, but that’s not guaranteed; before you jump in and warmly introduce yourself, there are some things you need to know that will help keep you safe and out of harm’s way.
Specifically, there are 5 easy steps to keeping out creepy Kik users. Peep them below.
Step 1: Don’t Include Your Full Name In Your Username
While including your name in kik usernames is typical among most social networks, as it obviously helps people find you, such as if your Twitter handle is your full name, don’t do the same with your Kik profile. If you’re a Jenny or a Brad, go ahead and be jennycartwheels211 or bradhuntsducks33, but for your personal safety, stray away from including your last name; you don’t want to make it any easier for pedophiles or predators to find you on Kik, or anywhere else.
It’s also a good idea to make your Kik name very different from your other social media usernames, which will help prevent people from finding you across multiple mediums.
Step 2: Don’t Post Your Kik Name To Social Media
To protect yourself from predators and people who will try to exploit, harass or harm you in any way, keep your Kik profile and other social media accounts separate. Don’t tweet your Kik username, don’t post it on your Facebook, and don’t include it in your Instagram or Tinder bios.
Simple as that, really. That creep on Twitter doesn’t need another way to interact with you, so don’t give them the chance.
Step 3: Ignore New Messages With Pictures
If someone knows your Kik name, they can send you a message; there’s no ability to make your profile private, like you can do on other social networks. That’s a security flaw, but one that Kik probably intended, as the company is set on connecting the world, and you can’t connect with the world if everyone’s profile is private.
That being said, you still have some power over who can stay in your DMs; whenever you get a message from someone brand new, you can either ignore or chat. If you tap the “ignore” option, you’re given the choice between blocking them, deleting the message, or reporting as spam.
If someone sends you a message for the first time and they’ve attached a photo, ignore them. Who starts off a conversation with a pic?
Fortunately, Kik blurs any pics sent by new people until you tap on them to reveal the photo in the message thread, so if they sent an inappropriate pic, you don’t have to look at it at all. If someone new to you sends you a photo, there’s no need to erase it from your memory or tell them to go away; you can simply block them from talking to you again.
Step 4: Block People Who Ask Very Specific Questions
If you’re chatting with someone new on Kik and they start asking you really specific questions, block them. It might seem like they’re super interested in your life, but no one you meet online should know any specific details about you; those things you tell them could help them locate you, or they might use that information against you to get what they want.
When you’re messaging someone and they go from casual chatting to asking you odd, specific questions, it’s time to block that user; this person is probably hundreds if not thousands of miles away, so why do they need to know intimate details about your life? That’s not normal behavior, so it’s in your best interests to block that Kik user.
Step 5: Report People Instead Of Dealing With Them Yourself
If people you’re chatting with start to make you feel uncomfortable or threaten you or do anything like that, report them immediately and block them. Sometimes Kik users will try to get the aggravator to go away by themselves, but that doesn’t always work, and sometimes the situation can get out of your control.
To prevent trolling or anything like that from occurring, simply report the person instead of dealing with them yourself. You may want to textually yell and scream at them or tell them to f*** off, but you’re only playing into their hands; they want you to lose your temper or do something rash, which is when you really start to regret ever talking to them.
Kik may not be ultra secure, but there are some security measures that you can use to ensure you have a positive, enjoyable experience on the messaging app.