What Is Houseparty?
Houseparty is a video chatting app developed by Life On Air, Inc. and later acquired by Epic Games. It has a 4+ store rating with over 17.2 million downloads worldwide. The Houseparty app is available on iOS and Android devices, and macOS and Google Chrome.
Houseparty enables users to instantly connect with friends and friends of friends. Unless the room is locked or Private Mode is enabled, a user gets connected with active contacts every time they open the app. While the app is popular with its live streaming and video chatting features, it also offers a Side Text option where users can have a private conversation with someone that disappears after 24 hours.
Houseparty Parental Controls
Houseparty supports group video chats and messages between users. Opening it instantly connects users with anyone on their contact list that’s also on the app. Like any app of its kind, there are certain risks that parents should watch out for. Be wary of excessive screen time, exposure to inappropriate content, and video chats or conversations with strangers.
To help keep threats at bay, here are some parental controls that could be set up.
Start by teaching your kids how to lock the room they are in or do so yourself. After logging into the app, simply tap on the lock icon at the bottom of the screen. This will then lock the room, effectively preventing strangers from entering conversations or just locking out people you haven’t invited in.
Enable Private Mode
As a somewhat stricter measure of locking rooms, also activate Privacy Mode. This will mean that every room your child enters will be locked by default. Just tap the face on the left-hand side of the screen then the gear icon in the upper left corner. On the Settings menu, select Privacy Mode to enable it.
Disable Location Sharing
For additional security and privacy measures, tap the face icon in the upper left corner then tap the gear icon. On the Settings, select Permissions → Enable Location to unmark it, effectively disabling location sharing.
Report and Block
To report or block someone, go to your friends’ list. Select the three dots next to the person you want to manage → Click Report or Block option. You can also tap the Ghosting option which will put a person on mute.
Keeping Kids Safe On Houseparty
Houseparty is suitable for users at least 13-years-old. Taking into consideration all safety features in place, experts still recommend proper supervision for Houseparty users below 18-years-old. Common Sense Media, for instance, states that this social media platform could be fun and beneficial for adults but detrimental to a teen’s psychological and emotional health. This is why as parents/guardians, it’s important to monitor Houseparty activities and enable parental controls.
Frequently Asked Questions About Houseparty Parental Controls & Safety
Is Houseparty monitored?
Houseparty administrators aren’t monitoring conversations which could be either a good or a bad thing, depending on one’s perspective Note that while live videos and texts can be restricted to a selected audience only, the app can’t guarantee that your content will remain intimate. After all, one can easily screenshot and share anything they see on their feed.
How do I make my Houseparty private?
Private Mode is one of Housparty’s safety measures and parental controls where every room you get into automatically locks. To activate, tap on the Face icon in the uppermost left side of the home screen → Tap on the Gear icon. Slide the activation button beside the Private Mode option and click Enable Private Mode.
Is Houseparty safe for kids?
Houseparty was designed to be suitable for users aged 13 and up. The live streaming and chat features, and default settings have surely raised certain privacy concerns. Houseparty developers don’t take such matters lightly and have incorporated certain safety nets to address all raised concerns. Though you can trust that Houseparty is generally safe for kids, you must still watch out for malicious users.
What parents should know about the Houseparty app?
Houseparty enables users to drop in on each other to chat, call, or virtually hang out. This means that, if certain privacy features are not enabled, your kids could be easily contacted by any stranger, or worse, predators. Watch out for cyberbullying and in-app purchases. As parents, the first thing to do is to ensure all parental controls are properly set and that your kids are equipped with proper knowledge about the virtual world. If possible, create an account for them and supervise their use.