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It seems that every week, there are new and more interesting ways to communicate with each other online. We all ooohed and aaahed when Skype 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More was first introduced, thinking it was some kind of black magic. But now we have various other forms of communication, including texting apps which send those texts via the user’s Internet data plan.

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WhatsApp How to Use WhatsApp on Your PC and Sync With Your Phone How to Use WhatsApp on Your PC and Sync With Your Phone Here is the best way to use Whatsapp on your desktop and have it sync with Whatsapp on your Android phone or tablet. Read More is the most well known of the lot with approximately 450 million users (according to its owner, Facebook). Others are trying to elbow their way into the increasingly crowded space, one of which is Kik.

What Is Kik, & How Is It Different?

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Kik Kik Messenger App Now Includes Built-in Browser Kik Messenger App Now Includes Built-in Browser The smartphone messenger app and service, Kik, now includes a built-in web browser that allows users to do keyword searches and link directly to URLs without having to leave the app. Read More is a free texting app, with a user-base of around 50 million (so really small, compared to WhatsApp). iTunes gives it a rating of 17+, but despite that, people much younger (as young as 13) use it on a regular basis. But for some strange reason, Google Android rates it 12+. Not sure what is going on there.

Where Kik sharply differs from WhatsApp however, is that WhatsApp works with the user’s mobile phone number, as the “username”. Kik, on the other hand, requires no phone number — just an invented username. Therefore, as well as smartphones, you can also install Kik on iPod Touch iPod Touch : 10 Cool Productivity Apps For Offline Use iPod Touch : 10 Cool Productivity Apps For Offline Use Read More and iPads (which have no phone capabilities and are therefore commonly given to tweens).

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So What’s The Problem With Kik?

Reusing Of Usernames

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As soon as someone (say a paedophile, or a generally unpleasant individual) has someone’s Kik username, they can start messaging them right away. This is not so difficult, since many people tend to use the same username for everything online (I am frequently guilty of this sin — thinking up usernames is not my forté). So if you use the same username for Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter… then it is not going to take a rocket scientist to figure out what your Kik username is.

The natural solution to this conundrum is to change your username. Just one problem — you can’t. The only thing you CAN do is delete the app, and begin from square one again (and lose all of your conversations with your legitimate friends in the process).

Let’s face it — how many kids these days want to go through that much hassle? They’re too busy skateboarding or going for milkshakes with the cool kids.

Kids Don’t Know How to Block Someone on Kik

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It IS possible to block someone on Kik from ever contacting you again, but it is not immediately obvious how you can do it. So, many kids have no idea that it is even possible to do. Therefore once someone starts harassing them on their phones and other devices, it would be natural for teens to think that there is no way to stop it.

You Can’t Log Out of Kik

And the hits just keep on coming. Unlike other IM and texting apps, you are unable to log out.

This means you can’t log out and continue to use your device in peace. To stop the harassment, you would need to switch your device off completely — which kind of makes a phone a bit of a pointless thing to own, if you don’t have it on to accept calls.

And this doesn’t stop the messages. They will all be waiting for you when you log back in. The only solution is to delete the app and start from the beginning again.

So How Can We Stop (Or Minimize) This From Happening?

There is never a perfect solution to any problem, but in the case of Kik, there are a few things you can do, which can, at the very least, minimize or stop the chances of anything happening.

Make Usernames Hard to Figure Out

As I said, we all tend to use the same username (and the same password) for every online account. And it’s easy to see why. It is one less thing to think about, if everything is the same everywhere.

But when using Kik, reusing usernames is your Achilles Heel. If you put photos of yourself on Instagram (and say “Kik Me” — which happens very frequently), then looking at the Instagram username is going to give some creep a direct line to you.

When they say they are a 25 year old smoking hot male model? They’re probably on the wrong side of 50, with a bad comb-over, wearing a string vest and Y-fronts, sitting in their mom’s basement, surfing for chicks.

randomusernamegenerator

If you’re as bad as me at thinking up new usernames, then Googling the term “username generator” brings up loads of possibilities. But they pretty much just take two words out of a dictionary and put them together, whether they make sense or not. So results vary a lot.

One I like is Random Username Generator. I am definitely claiming “majestic-eyeball” for myself.

Kik recommends that you use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

Don’t Ever Reveal Your Username Online to Strangers

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There are many websites (most of which are too pornographic to link here) where Kik users want strangers to “Kik Me”. They reveal their Kik username, and wait for the messages to come flooding in. And this is the open-door invitation f0r every pervert and paedophile in the entire world to start sending creepy “do you want to come and see my puppies?” messages.

For the love of all that is Holy, do NOT put your hard-to-guess username on these sites. This also applies to guys hoping that young girls will get in touch. Because that young girl could be an FBI agent.

The same applies to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, your website, and any other form of online platform. Do not reveal your username in these places either. In other words, only chat on Kik with people that you know and trust.

Don’t Sync Your Device Address Book to Kik

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When you install a texting or IM app on your phone, it commonly asks you if you want to sync your contact book with it. This ensures that if any of your contacts also use the app, you will find out about it, and perhaps add them to your app contact list.

But what if you have someone in your contact list, who you previously communicated with, and was perfectly OK, but now they have discovered you are on Kik, they turn into a nuisance? Plus, you are pretty much broadcasting your username out to the synced contacts, which is golden rule numero uno, that you shouldn’t do.

Learn How To Block Pests

So let’s figure out how you can block people, and in the process, stop your phone from beeping with new messages from unwanted admirers.

  • Go to : Settings > Chat Settings > Block List

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  • Tap the big plus sign in the top right hand corner.

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  • Time to select the person who is causing you so much bother. For an example, I have decided that one of my editors, Angela, is a real pain in the neck. So it’s time to block her! (I love you really, Angela. I am just acting for my audience here).

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  • When I tap on Angela’s name, it will ask me if I am sure. Go ahead and click “block” to put her on the Blocked list where she belongs. Even though she can still send messages to me, they will stay undelivered.

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If Angela and I become best buddies again (which we are, really), then I can easily unblock her by tapping her name in the Blocked list and choosing the “Unblock” option.

One Final Thing…

Here’s one final thing to keep in mind. If you accidentally send a message, which in hindsight you thought “maybe I shouldn’t have sent that”, you can delete the message on your end. BUT the people included in the conversation will still have the message on THEIR end.

So it just goes to prove that once something is out there, it can never be fully erased. So be careful what you say, and exercise some common sense. It’s a risky world out there, people.

Are you a Kik user? If so, what scary situations have you encountered? Any weirdos offering you candy or kittens? Tell us about it!

Image Credit: Surprised boy Via Shutterstock, No Entry Hand Sign — Shutterstock

  1. Sam
    November 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

    I blocked people off of my kik like a month ago
    I randomly logged into my kik on another device and all the people I blocked where on my friends list
    Is that normal ???

  2. Maya
    September 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I mean, Kik should only be for people who are ready for such situations, and who can handle and know how to block people when they're in a bad situation. Mostly, it's okay if you hang out with the right crowd, and avoid/block all the baddies. I've been on kik for two years, and it's been one hell of a ride. Back when there used to be hash tags, I used to join a bunch of groups and people would come into my pms, trying to hit on me. Most would stop with a simple no, or get out of my pms. But, I remember, I was in a chat with one person and I'm pretty sure they leaked my username on porn sites 3 times. I pissed off another person and they did the same thing, I got 90 messages in 5 minutes. It was really funny.
    But if kids ever got into a situation like that, the best thing is to tell they're parents, block the person that did that to them, and make a new account.

  3. BiTheWay
    August 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Not gonna lie, I legit only use kik for sexting my girlfriend... For messaging my friends, I use facebook messenger. Almost everyone I talk to has facebook, so it's the easier way to communicate. Kik is sketchy af, but as long as you're only messaging with someone you trust, it's fast and easy.

  4. Ben
    April 27, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    1 you must know there are female child predators out there to lets not forget that, you can YouTube or google for proof

    As for me it's the spammer and or the conman trying to get your email ?
    I'm a guy and I get messages from random girls/ women saying
    "I love you and want to meet you and Email me here" & it's the same email and message
    but with 8-9 diffident user names ? that's just creepy

    It's not safe for anyone that makes cents :)
    Boys and Girls ,Women and yes Young men such as myself

    Wonder if the Owners of the app can make changes, this app acts like something from a 90's chat room.

  5. Alli
    April 11, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I am a teen '17 y'
    I've been blackmailed by a guy
    I met him on the 'webpages' that he mentioned
    He supported me and kept saying sweet stuff when i needed them the most
    Then he asked for nudes we kept fighting but in the end i sent him nudes
    And now he's blackmailind me
    And i have no idea what to do
    So please take care of your children
    Dont let them do what i did
    Please its pretty hard
    Take care of them
    Online meetings arent safe
    Tell them
    -girl teen

  6. Jay
    March 20, 2016 at 1:35 am

    You basically mentioned all of the "problems" that's on almost every social media site or app, minus the syncing of the address book which isn't a problem because if somebody doesn't bother your phone at all why would it make a difference for kik? And also minus the "not being able to sign out" which is, however, false because you can log out of kik.

  7. Lexi Walls
    March 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    it sad since i read this that i don't want to use kik . Some of those things are true and some of it is a lie

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Which parts are a lie?

    • bitchtacy
      April 19, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Yeah. You can log out of Kik. One ugly feature tho is when you log out, the conversations are automatically deleted "poof" gone. Although there's a mod that can save conversations, but still.

  8. Vlskibern
    February 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    You can log of kik tho......you just go into settings>your account>Reset kik its kinda easy tbh

  9. krista
    February 17, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    really i did not know that my child is never going on facebook and other things??????

  10. JuanCena
    February 12, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    This blog honestly proves you know nothing about kids these days and have no right to judge their ability, every kid is smart enough to block people and no one goes "out for milkshakes" with the cool kids

    • Mark O'Neill
      February 13, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      No, not "every kid" is smart enough. That's why child predators are often successful. I'm not sure if you are serious or not with your comment.

  11. Chris
    February 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    As someone under 18 I just have to say this article is rather biased, you arent going to prevent anyone from using an app that lets people talk anonymously (and long distance, the reason I use it) ive gotten more "bad" messages on skype than kik. I had one encounter on kik because some friends thought it would be funny to put my username on a site. I told the person not to message me and I wasnt interested, they apologized, and if someone persisted id block them. Teach to deal with things rather than do a 'ban' because there is nothing inappropriate about kik natively.

    • Mark O'Neill
      February 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      This article is not biased in the slightest. I've been around the block often enough to know that there are bad people lurking on every chat platform. Hence the need to highlight them all - Kik included.

  12. Stephanie
    January 28, 2016 at 7:32 am

    As a female on Kik, in about 10 minutes of installing it and logging in, I had enough unsolicited pics of guys junk to start a web site devoted to them. I uninstalled it with a quickness.

  13. Beatrice
    January 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Oh

  14. Beatrice
    January 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    ????

  15. Op
    December 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    What I just don't like that made me landed on your blog is...I happen to enter into another chatting app on kik browser without any notice (I was just exploring the app how to get more point or more icon) and next thing I knew stranger is hitting me up. I remove myself the first time and now I happen to do it again.smh and forgot how I stopped it the first time. Anyone...I don't even know what will be the term to search for help for it...addon chat in kik,

  16. Pravin S
    July 31, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Hey, Mark
    You were going to block Angie??!!! :o
    Just kidding.. :p

    It's fun to read.. I am sure it's more useful to teens. It's really surprising to know that most teens don't know how to block someone on Kik.

    You also could have included the instructions for uninstalling Kik for good..

    Pravin

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Well I didn't include it because I figured it was pretty straightforward to delete an app from a phone.

      • Pravin S
        August 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

        I was actually kidding.. And I use kik for years to talk to people I meet on online forums before I trust them with my phone number.. Each year the crowd is getting more weirder than before.. I feel Kik is not a healthy place for kids.. especially who are below 18.. I have seen people exhibit psychotic behaviors, in many different ways.. I get all kinds of unsolicited messages.. it really bothers me when I learn kids are using it freely in such a weird environment. Some are urged to follow others. some kids may even think it's completely ok to start doing what others are doing. That's really a sad thing..

        • Mark O'Neill
          August 2, 2015 at 10:04 am

          Sorry, sometimes it's hard to tell from reading from a webpage whether or not a person is serious or kidding :-) Normally I am pretty good at telling, but not this time obviously :-)

  17. Thomas Sheeley II
    July 31, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    My wife and I and some of her family have been using Kik for years... rarely do we get unsolicited messages... which are quickly block avid forgotten.

    Kids also need to stop putting their age, sex and usernames in the reviews for Kik. Just cause you say no perverts or old people... do you really think they stop and go, "Oh, nevermind, they said no perverts"?

    Folks, this isn't just a Kik problem... teach your kids general internet safety.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Regarding your first point, as my editor pointed out to me, having merely the blocking function is not enough. If your details are "out there", then you're going to be playing "whack-a-pervert", constantly knocking each one down as they pop up. It could end up being a full-time job.

      But yes, it is more or less a general internet safety thing that parents should be drilling into their kids.

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