Why parents need to be concerned if their child uses Kik messenger app

Posted at 6:45 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 18:51:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kik, a messenger app frequently downloaded by teens across the United States, has law enforcement concerned.

"I just got it because my friends were talking about it," Karina Salinas, a 13-year-old student in Hanover said.


But the app is a concern for law enforcement because strangers can easily search and message your child. The app also offers limited parental controls.

In New Jersey, a convicted pedophile called the app "well known in our industry."  In Michigan another convicted sex offender said "I can get anybody I want" via the app.

And just last week, a Fairfax manwas accused of soliciting sex via the app while last month a Virginia Beach manwas sentenced to 20 years for using the app to target girls.

Patrick Siewart

Patrick Siewart

Patrick Siewart, a digital forensic expert, said the app is a challenge for law enforcement since it is based in Canada.

"If you try to send a subpoena to Canada they are not going to honor it, so what law enforcement has to do is contact the Canadian authorities," Siewart said.

Kik did not respond to CBS 6 News request for comment, but does provide links on their website for law enforcement.