Telegram growing in popularity
Parents are being warned about a social media platform which is growing in popularity on the Isle of Man.
Telegram is not new, but appears to be overtaking the likes of WhatsApp for some young people.
The minimum age for using Telegram should be 17, but there’s no need to provide identification for using the app and so no way to confidently verify that users are who they say they are.
Telegram is free to use, but offers a monthly membership which increases download speeds and adds other features, and it may be that children are able to sign up to this without their parents knowledge if they have access to payment.
There are also concerns that Telegram could leave children open to cyberbullying.
Messages in groups can be forwarded which could potentially lead to images and texts being seen by people they weren’t intended for.
Telegram relies on users self-moderation meaning it has the potential for illegal or inappropriate content.
It also offers a secret chat feature, where messages delete after a specified period of time.
This could make it difficult to prove someone has been abusive or inappropriate on the app.
The advice for parents and carers is to check the app’s privacy controls if your child does use it, discuss security with them, report any unsafe content and make sure your payment methods are protected to prevent any unexpected purchases.