Parents cannot automatically view their child's Kik communications remotely from another device, but instead must have the password to their child's user account and view the communications on the same device used by their child.Kik Interactive has said that it uses "typical" industry standards for age verification, that "perfect age verification" is "not plausible", and that the company deletes accounts of users under 13 when it finds them, or when a parent requests the deletion.Kik added Safe Photo to its safety features in October 2016 which "detects, reports, and deletes known child exploitation images" sent through the platform.
The app’s “ephemeral” disappearing message technology means messages last only 10 seconds before being deleted.
Experts say that is almost perfectly designed for both the legal and illegal sex trade.
In March 2015, the company adopted a more aggressive strategy by utilizing Microsoft's Photo DNA cloud service to automatically detect, delete, and report the distribution of child exploitation images on its app.
(Some experts have noted that because Photo DNA operates by comparing images against an existing database of exploitative images, it does not effectively prevent "realtime" online child abuse and may not detect material not yet added to its comparison database.) Kik Interactive also began collaborating internationally with law enforcement by joining the Virtual Global Taskforce, a partnership between businesses, child protection agencies, and international police services that combats online child exploitation and abuse.
The app has been criticized as unsafe for minors due to its anonymity features and allegedly weak parental control mechanisms.
In November 2014, Kik announced a .3 million Series C funding round and its first acquisition, buying GIF Messenger "Relay".The bot shop added a web bubble (also known as "wubbles") feature to allow rich media content to be shared in conversation threads, as well as suggested responses and a feature allowing bots to be active in group threads.On November 4, 2014, Kik scored 1 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard.These features were developed in response to the widespread use of Kik for "cross-app" communication, whereby a user who encounters people on another app (usually a gaming app) would then use Kik to communicate with them.a feature allowing users to send previously recorded videos in Kik Messenger for Android and i OS; and "Kik Codes", which assigns each user a unique code similar to a QR code, making it easier to connect and chat with other users.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.