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7 Teen Dating Apps Parents Should Know About

Are you a parent concerned about your child safety and wondering if your teenager is using dating apps? If you answer yes, this guide will show you the most used apps teens are downloading, analyzing both the pros and cons, and find out some tips to determine if your child is using them or preventing their installation.

Teen dating apps

It is Frankie Caruso here again, your messaging app and mobile hacking expert. Welcome again to my blog.

Today I’m going to bring your attention to the fact that teenagers are using dating apps. In the last year there are more than 30 million active dating app users in the US alone. Many of these downloads are being made by teenagers under the age of 18.

The use of these dating apps for younger people comes with positive aspects, as it promotes new friendships and increases a circle of acquaintances beyond what you might meet at the school or gym. Who knows, you might meet your soulmate this way or just have more people to chill with.

The trouble is, all that glitters is not gold.

Dating apps also contain dangers like malware, sexual predators, pedophiles, and all-around bad people and experiences.

the dangers of teen dating app

If you think that’s all there is to it, you would also be wrong.

Another potential risk for young people using dating apps is a warping of their worth. Dating apps can mislead your child to what a worthy partner looks like and only value relationships based on looks alone. If choosing your mate is as simple as swiping left (which means you don’t like them) or swiping right (because you do) then it would appear that meeting the one you are meant to spend forever with just got more difficult. It might be impossible. The uniqueness of your child’s personality can be overlooked by focusing exclusively on the face value. This can wreak havoc on the emotional state of young, impressionable minds.

But you shouldn’t worry.

Almost all dating apps, especially the ones most heavily used throughout the United states like Tinder, Bumble, or OKCupid can only be used by those who are legal adults. This does not mean that your child cannot fake their age, sign up for a profile, and still run into these same risks or threats with predators.

I am here to help.

This guide is meant to show you how to solve, or even prevent, this problem specifically. I want to show you several important pieces of information, including:

  • the most popular dating apps used by teens (I update this list every month)
  • how to find out if your child has these apps on their phone
  • how to block installation of dating apps to your child’s phone

So, get comfy, let’s take a look at this.

7 Popular Dating Apps for Underage Teens Parents Should Know About

Now you should know that there are plenty of teen friendly dating apps popping up on the official Apple or Android stores over the past several years period

Just because they are designed for teens, does not mean that your child is safe from the dangers that you read about already. Soon you can understand why.

I listed the ones that are most popular, so that you can check on your child’s phone as to whether or not they are present and being used.

1. MyLOL

  • Target Age: 13-19
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

MyLOL is one of the apps that is growing in popularity for teens. It is the best free dating app for teens, as seen by the statistics coming back from the UK, US, Canada, and Australia. This service has more than 300,000 members worldwide. Teens create a profile, upload photos, and search for people to begin chats with.

Positives: the service has strict rules. Those discovered and reported as being over 19 years old are immediately banned and reported to local police. You can take a look at the terms and conditions for their website by clicking here.

Negatives: when creating a profile, no documentation is necessary to prove your age. Pedophiles, or boys over 20, can create fake profiles and use them until someone reports them.

2. Yubo

  • Target Age: 12+
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

You can consider Yubo to be the teenage version of Tinder. Much like this popular dating program, users swipe right on profiles that look interesting and they wish to chat or stream video with. You can add filters and emojis to make the conversation more playful.

Positives: the app is very concerned about the safety of its users. Teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 18 must have parental permission to join any community, and they are separated into groups specifically with those under the age of 18. These teens cannot come into contact with older individuals.

Negatives: One of the biggest drawbacks is that some of the features of this service are premium, and your child may unintentionally sign up for them and leave you with undesired credit card charges. It’s possible as well to create a fake profile, acting undisturbed in these younger communities until they are reported.

3. Spotafriend

  • Target Age: 13-19
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free

This is yet another swiping app for teens aged 13 to 19. In the past few years, this app has grown to have more than two million new users. The logistics and functionality of this service are simple, you swipe on pictures of teenagers around you, and swipe right to become friends. If you both accept this arrangement, you match and can start chatting privately.

Positives: there are some very strict rules about the content you can post on this service. You are not going to find nude photographs or sexual content. You also will not find overly violent images. The service insists it will never disclose sensitive data, such as email, phone number, or social profiles to companies.

Negatives: the app is only good for people that have the service installed nearby. If it is dangerous you are afraid of, then they are close when this app is in use. A pedophile with a fake profile contacting your child on Spotafriend lives in the community.

4. Hoop

  • Target Age: 12+
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

Beyond being a dating app for teens, Hoop is also a friendship booster for Snapchat. Like other dating apps, this also features the swipe method of choosing potential matches. You send friend requests to the profiles you are interested in, and if they accept, Snapchat profile data is shared. Chat transfers that happened beyond this happen on Snapchat.

NOTE: Snapchat is becoming a very heavily used social media outlet for boys, namely because it has a feature to self-delete messages after a few minutes. The dangers lying with Snapchat are plentiful, and so I encourage you to check out my guide on how to spy on the Snapchat profiles of your children.

Positives: Hoop is pretty well useless if your child is not using Snapchat.

Negatives: This site is full of fake profiles and scams. Without an age limit, it’s easy for older people to engage with a younger crowd.

5. MeetMe

  • Target Age: 17+
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

There are more than 100,000,000 users that have made accounts on MeetMe to find friends over the past few years. The operation of this service is incredibly simple: based on your location and interests, you get shown people that followed this same mindset. You send a friend request, and if it’s accepted, you can start chatting.

Positives: Contacts shown are filtered according to the interests that you express, as well as your location. This helps people to make friends only with people that have similar interests and goals.

Negatives: there are no age limits to use this app. Though it is recommended for people over 17 years old, you are allowed to create an app as young as 13. The site is full of explicit sexual content, and there are in app purchases that could charge your credit card.

6. Happn – Dating App

  • Target Age: 17+
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

Behind Tinder, Badoo, and Meetic, Happn is the 4th most used dating app on the planet. Much like most services using geolocation, you find people close to you with accounts and send requests to those who interest you. If it is mutual, you can chat.

Positives: this is a pretty secure application in terms of privacy. In fact, the data collected such as your geolocation, contact email, phone number, and more, are not shared with any other services or companies. Additionally, you can report and block fake profiles or individuals that might border on harassment.

Negatives: there is nothing to verify age, so anyone can create profiles and post photos to start looking for people.

7. Tinder

  • Target Age: 18+
  • Devices: Apple and Android
  • Price: Free with In-App Purchases

Because it is the most famous dating app on the planet, it is no surprise that Tinder invented the swipe system. You choose which profiles you are intrigued by by swiping the appropriate way, and if the feeling is mutual, you match.

Positives: this is a site that has been working steadily to protect the security of its users. You have to be over 18 years old and verify your age, as Tinder connects to both your Facebook and Gmail account. If you are under 18, you are blocked, and a login screen shows you a countdown at the time left before you are able to use the service.

Negatives: like any other dating app, it is possible to create fake profiles. In many countries, tender is only used for sexual hookups.

Let’s Sum it Up

The most heavily used teen dating apps are:

  • MyLOL
  • Yubo
  • Spotafriend
  • Hoop
  • MeetMe
  • Happn
  • Tinder

The worst things that can come from using these apps include:

  • Meeting pedophiles or violent people
  • Sensitive data stealing that leads to identity theft
  • Finding explicit material
  • Receiving explicit sexual requests or conversations
  • Showing your location to people you do not know

Frankie’s Take:

There are many dating apps out there for young teens, even beyond this. This guide only shows the ones that are being most heavily used at this time. If you want to know more about dating apps for teens, you can go to the Apple or Android store and type in ‘dating’ to the search bar.

Is My Child Using These Dating Apps?

So far, I have shown you some of the most heavily used dating apps and some of the risks and dangers your child faces.

Pay close attention: what I disclosed next is the real killer.

There’s a foolproof method to check and see if your child is using these apps or not.

Drumroll please…

The solution is mSpy. This software allows you to see what apps are installed on your Childs phone, read conversations from major social networks, and see profile information for dating apps like Tinder. You also have options to monitor the location of your children with live GPS tracking.

Dashboard mSpy

So how does it work?

mSpy works on Android and iPhone devices. Your child will never know that they’re being spied on because it is invisible on their device entirely.

mSpy ScreenRecorder

The software is super easy to use and requires no special skills to install or pull data from. What you need is:

  1. to purchase the software license from the official website
  2. get your child’s phone for a few minutes without interruption
  3. install mSpy
  4. access the dashboard for mSpy to track everything happening on your child’s mobile device. This can happen anywhere in the world from any mobile phone, as long as it is connected to the internet.

This is one of those things that sounds simple because it is.

If you want to try a demo version for free and see how clear an easy it is to use the dashboard and the software, you can do so by clicking here.

Note: I would advise everyone to read my tutorial on installing mSpy to the target phone. You will get images and videos to help you through every phase of the installation process to make it simpler.


Frankie’s Take:

This is one of the most heavily used spy apps in the world by parents wanting to protect their children from the dangers of dating apps and predators on the web. The service has been covered and featured in publications like Forbes.

Can You Prevent Your Child from Using Dating Apps on Their Phone?

It is not hard to admit that as a parent, you don’t want your child using dating apps on their phone.

Sure, on one hand, if they use it responsibly it can be great for social reasons. The other hand introduces them to a different level of danger they are not otherwise experiencing.

If you believe your child is grown up enough, you can let them use these apps with the understanding that they should:

  • be mindful of those using fake profiles
  • be leery of giving their personal information
  • don’t meet strangers in closed places or unpopulated areas

If you are a parent that wishes to keep your child from using dating apps altogether, then these are some steps you should follow.

If your child has an iPhone, you need to use Parental Control. This provides you with multiple options. First, it prevents your child from downloading any app without parental permission, which includes everything that they wish to add to their device. The other, prevents your child from using certain age designated apps, which you can set these limitations yourself.

Preventing all apps from being downloaded without permission, here is what you do:

  1. Begin at “Settings” and click on “Screen Time”.
  2. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions”, and then choose “iTunes & App Store Purchases”.
  3. Click on “Installing Apps” and choose “Don’t Allow”.

Once you have done this, your child cannot install apps to their phone without your consent.

If you are looking just to prevent apps downloaded by a specific age group, here is what you want to do:

  1. Start at “Settings” and click “Screen Time”.
  2. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions” and choose “Content Restrictions”.
  3. Click on “Apps” and choose “17+” (99% of dating apps for teens have this rating already)
Prevent Your Child from Using Dating Apps
iPhone Parental Control

Personally, I recommend this second option unless you don’t trust your children at all.

Note: I would suggest if you want to learn more about the features of Apple’s Parental Controls, to look at my guide setting Parental Controls on your child’s iphone to keep them safe.

If your child has an Android device, you will need to use the Family account features.

Allow me to elaborate.

You can link a child’s account to a parent’s, so that a parent authorizes the download of applications from the Google Play store. Then, you see which apps your child is using, and you can manually block the installation of dating apps.

Creating a Family Group is simple, all you need to do is log in to the Google Play store with the account that will be the manager of the Family Group an invite your child to join it.

NOTE: For more detailed instructions on creating a Family Group, you can visit the official Google page.

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Google Play and click on the “Menu” (top left)
  2. Tap “Account” > “Family” > “Manage family members” – then click on your child’s name
  3. Click “Purchase Approvals” and then “All Content”

Easy as pie.

Now, any app your child wants to download happens with your consent.

The Takeaway

Hopefully you know more about this topic now. I wanted to give you information to help you through a challenging situation.

Before we part ways, let me recap what we’ve gone over to ensure that you have not missed anything.

Within the past several years dating apps for teenagers have become more popular. I am not talking about Tinder, Meetic, or Badoo, but a different series of applications geared directly towards a younger crowd.

The positives of this situation are that teens are able to make new friends and acquaintances, but it does expose them to other dangers as well. The most troublesome being violent individuals, pedophiles, and a distorted view of functional relationships.

There are seven apps that are heavily used among this younger generation right now, including:

  • MyLOL
  • Yubo
  • Spotafriend
  • Hoop
  • MeetMe
  • Happn
  • Tinder

As a concerned parent, you might be worried that your child is using these apps inappropriately, and there is a way that you can find out for sure. With mSpy software, you can monitor everything happening on your child’s mobile phone to keep them safe. You can see what apps are installed, read conversations happening on major social networks, and track their live GPS location without the threat of being caught or detected.

If you want to prevent your child from using these apps, you need to utilize parental control capabilities provided by both Apple and Android for their respective app stores.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can leave a comment below to that I can get back with you as soon as possible. You can also contact me through my Facebook page, Pinterest account, or follow my YouTube channel for more helpful content.

A hug,

PS – There is no doubt that your child is using Instagram. I suggest you check out my guide on spying on Instagram conversations remotely.

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

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