Users around the world who misunderstood the changes, and thought that their PERSONAL information would be shared, decided to delete WhatsApp. There are two alternatives to the messaging app, which include Signal and Telegram.
However, there are some things about Telegram that parents should be aware of.
It now appears that Telegram is not a safer alternative for kids. Social Media Law Specialist, Emma Sadleir shared the following on her Twitter account this morning: “URGENT URGENT!!! If your child has downloaded Telegram please urgently make sure the location is turned off and that they cannot turn it back on.
There is a ‘People Nearby’ feature which allows you to see nearby groups (without joining) with the most horrific pornography etc.
“I can’t tell you what I saw within two minutes of enabling it (and I’ve seen it all). Please share. WhatsApp is infinitely preferable to this. Better the devil you know. Pls share,” she said in a second Tweet.
Security flaw found in Telegram app
According to an article by Gadgets Now Bureau, a security problem has been found in the Telegram app: hackers can extract your exact location from a feature in the Telegram app, which can help stalkers get your precise location.
When Independent researcher Ahmed Hassan reached out to Telegram to inform them about this security risk, they replied with the following: “Users in the People Nearby section intentionally share their location, and this feature is disabled by default. It’s expected that determining the exact location is possible under certain conditions. Unfortunately, this case is not covered by our bug bounty program.”
So, what can you do if you use the app?
Turn off the ‘People Nearby’ feature when you don’t need it! If your kids downloaded this app, make sure it’s turned off on their phones and that they cannot turn it back on again.
Follow the instructions in the video below to turn off this feature on your phone and your child’s phone: