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The app has been criticized as unsafe for minors due to its anonymity features and allegedly weak parental control mechanisms.A main attraction of Kik that differentiates it from other messaging apps is its anonymity.
Koçulu had published an extension to on npm under the name "kik".During the investigation, Kik Interactive provided information to the FBI that the company believed helped lead to the arrests of Eisenhauer and an alleged accomplice.Following the arrests, Kik made an updated guide for parents available on its website and had Apple raise Kik Messenger's age-appropriate rating on its i Tunes Store from 9 to 12 , closer to Kik's requirement that no one under 13 use the service.In February 2016, Kik Messenger came under public scrutiny in connection with the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, who disappeared from her home in Blacksburg, Virginia on January 27, 2016 and whose body was found three days later in Surry County, North Carolina.Lovell reportedly used the app to meet and communicate with an 18-year-old man, David Eisenhauer, who has been charged with her kidnapping and murder.Kik has been criticized for providing inadequate parental control over minors' use of the app.
The ability to share messages without alerting parents has been noted as "one of the reasons why teens like Kik".Kik received a point for encryption during transit but lost points because communications are not encrypted with a key to which the provider does not have access, users cannot verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen, the code is not open to independent review, the security design is not properly documented, and there had not been a recent independent security audit.In 2014, a pedophile told The Trentonian newspaper: "I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they're both still active. I can achieve my sexual glorification [sic] through this app.'" Prior to 2015, Kik Interactive addressed this issue by informing parents and police about their options to combat child exploitation.Kik Interactive contacted him objecting to his use of the name, for which the company claimed intellectual property rights, and asked him to change the name.When Koçulu refused, Kik Interactive contacted npm management, who agreed to transfer ownership of the module to Kik without Koçulu's consent.In November 2014, Kik announced a .3 million Series C funding round and its first acquisition, buying GIF Messenger "Relay".