Safety Concerns with Cake — Live Stream Video Chat app

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through its program, wants to make parents aware of the app Cake — Live Stream Video Chat and its risks for teens after recently learning about the app and its significant volume of sexual content.

What are the concerns?

  1. This app’s content is primarily sexual in nature

    In less than 12 hours of creating an account we received four unsolicited messages with sexual content, including a sexually explicit video from a male user. Sections of the app include the “Hot List” and “Top Cakers” where the top 10 profile pictures are exclusively young females, most of whom are in provocative poses. Our profile picture was NOT sexually suggestive.

  2. Teens can connect and share videos with anyone, which increases the risk of sextortion

    Cake’s one-on-one video chat encourages users to connect to people they don’t know in “Go Private Random.” They can also join private chat rooms or public broadcast rooms. This creates opportunities for individuals to seek out youth and gradually manipulate them into sharing sexual images or videos, which can be captured as screenshots or video without your teen ever knowing.

  3. Live streaming videos earns users cash value, which encourages risk-taking behaviour

    The app encourages users to share live video broadcasts and to video chat with new people by rewarding them with “diamonds,” which can be exchanged for cash value. Users can also earn “diamonds” from others by completing specific requests made by users watching the live stream and broadcasting parties. This may encourage teens to take risks like talking to people they do not know, who can ask them to perform tasks that may progress to being sexual in nature.

  4. No enforcement of minimum age requirement means younger kids are using Cake

    While the Cake app is intended for users who are at least 13 years old, this is buried in the Terms of Use and is not enforced, even when a new user enters a birth date indicating they are younger than 13.

What can parents do?

  1. If your child is under the age of 13, they should NOT be on Cake. The highly sexual nature of the app also raises questions about why youth need to use it at all. Have a conversation with your teen about choosing a more appropriate app for live streaming with their friends.
  2. Talk to your teen about the risks of live streaming, including that anyone watching can capture a screenshot or video without them knowing.
  3. Encourage your teen to talk to you about weird or uncomfortable moments they encounter. Emphasize that it is never too late to come to you for help, even if they have made a mistake.
  4. If they are going to use the app, review the security/privacy settings with your teen and take these steps:
    • Select “Discover” in the bottom right corner of the screen and then the settings icon in the top right corner.
    • For the “Profile Visible” setting, select “Hidden” so your teen is not visible to all users.
    • For the “Private Call” setting, select “Not Accept” so your teen does not get calls from unknown users.
  5. Review your teen’s “Friends,” “Followers,” and “Following” lists. Ask your teen if they know each person offline and have them delete the rest.

What do I do if my child is being sextorted?

Live-streaming apps that connect youth with users they do not know increase the risk of sextortion. If you think your child is being sextorted, can help.

About Alerts Alerts are notifications sent out to inform the public of concerning technology trends and new resources designed to increase children’s personal safety. As Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, the information reported to enables us to identify the online risks children and youth are facing. Recognizing that it can be difficult to keep up with technology, signing up for these alerts provides you with important information to help keep your family safe while using the various popular platforms on the Internet.

Sign-up to receive Alerts

Enter your email address below to receive Alerts. Once you select “Submit”, an email will be sent to the email address entered below. Please access the link displayed within the email to complete the sign-up process. Alerts are sent by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. You may withdraw your consent to receive Alerts at any time (Contact Us).

Previously Issued Alerts:

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents aware of a popular new anonymous feedback app called Sarahah, now one of the most popular downloads in the App Store.

    What is the concern?

    Initially created so that users could receive anonymous “constructive criticism” from friends and co-workers, Sarahah has quickly turned into a platform for cyberbullying and harassment.

    What can parents do?

    The Canadian Centre for Child Protection encourages parents to:

    • Talk to your teens about the harm anonymous message apps can cause and limiting their use of the app.
    • Ensure that teens who are using the app change the settings to remove them from the search function and only share their user names with people they know. To do this, tap on the person icon on the bottom right of the screen, select the gear icon (settings) at the top right, and under “Privacy” swipe left on “Appear in Search” and “Receive messages from non-registered users”.
    • Review the app to ensure it is age appropriate – the App Store states that you must be at least 17 years of age to download Sarahah. has more online safety information for youth available here.

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through its program, wants to make parents aware of a concerning new location-sharing feature on Snapchat, an app that lets users send photos, videos, and messages that disappear after a set time. Snapchat is hugely popular with teens and has more users than Twitter.

    What is the concern?

    If location services have been turned on, “Snap Maps” reveals your current location by showing your Bitmoji character on a map or a shadow-figure if a Bitmoji character has not been created. This opt-in feature allows friends to look at shared stories (created by a combination of Snaps, both images and videos) taken by multiple users at the same event or location, or see where other friends are located. Users can select who sees where they are – all friends, a select group, or none (ghost mode). You can zoom out far enough to see a whole world map, and close enough to see street names, parks, and other landmarks.

    There is a real safety concern in others being able to track your daily movements, including where you go to school, the route you walk every day, and where you live. Users may not realize this feature is on all the time and updates your location each time you open the app, not just when sharing to “My Stories.”

    What can parents do?

    Talk to your teen about:

    • Setting the app to “Ghost Mode” which keeps their location private (the Bitmoji does not appear on the map).
    • Ensuring their “friends” on Snapchat (and all social media) are people they have met in person.

    Share this important information with other parents and encourage others to sign-up for Alerts.

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents aware of concerns in a popular gaming environment called Roblox. Roblox is a user-generated gaming environment where children are encouraged to create adventures using their avatar, play games and connect with friends in this multiplayer environment that claims to have over 44 million active users.

    The Canadian Centre’s program has received reports concerning requests to meet up in person, and/or sexually suggestive chat messages being sent to children under the age of 12 within Roblox. It is important for parents to be on alert with any app or site that offers direct messaging chat features.

    Through the chat feature, children can easily be exposed to inappropriate conversations or redirected to inappropriate content on other sites. Before your child starts playing a particular game, explore it yourself first. Is there an interactive (chat) component in the game? Is this an optional feature that can be turned off? Are there other optional features that can be turned off or on to improve safety? Does the game allow for an easy way to report inappropriate activity? Does an online search of the app or game find media articles that involve child safety-related concerns?

    We want to remind parents that it is important to teach children to:

    • Check with you before using new apps/games or sharing any information online. For children under 12, online interactions should always be supervised by a parent or safe adult.
    • Not respond or click on messages or links from someone they don’t know.
    • Tell you if they come across something or someone while playing an online game that makes them feel uncomfortable and that they can tell you without fear of getting in trouble.
    • Ask your permission before ever accepting a request from another gamer to move over to a video chatting site or other chat platform.

    Share this important information with other parents and encourage others to sign-up for Alerts.

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents aware of concerns about youth using a popular live streaming mobile app The app allows its users to post live broadcasts and receive “tips” from other users for completing specific tasks during live broadcasts. These “tips” are in the form “gold coins” and can be exchanged for money. Users then have the ability to either delete the recording of the live broadcast or post it on their profile. The app also does not have any restrictions on the age an individual needs to be to create an account.

    Understandably, this app has attracted youth who may not be equipped to understand the dangers of recording and sharing sexual videos or engaging in sexual activity while streaming live video feeds. They need to understand that anyone on the other end of the live feed can capture a still image or video of them engaged in that activity – all without their knowledge.

    In many cases, the program has also seen an intersect between the use of the app and the use of other live streaming or social media apps (such as YouNow, Periscope,, etc.) in order to increase followers. It’s important for parents to be aware that the use of these apps by youth may pose different risks based on the variety of features they offer.

    The Canadian Centre for Child Protection strongly suggests that parents consider the following when trusting their child with a personal mobile device:

    • Having conversations about the risks associated to complying with requests from other users and communicating with other users online whom the youth does not know offline;
    • Reviewing and utilizing any apps prior to allowing their child to download it on their personal device;
    • Ensuring that any apps being used by their child is age-appropriate;
    • Reinforcing and encouraging their child to bring forward any concerns that they encounter;
    • Stressing that they are always there to help their child through any difficult situation they may encounter both online and offline.

    For more information on the risks youth face when utilizing live streaming applications, please see our brochure titled Keeping Teens Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation online and safety sheets on the topics of apps and online extortion.

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants to make parents and youth aware of the risks concerning online requests involving prospective job opportunities. has been contacted a few times in the last month by individuals who believe their legitimate business name was being used to lure youth for the purposes of exploitation. These individuals are contacting teens through social media, portraying themselves as associated with a legitimate business that is offering job opportunities such as modelling. is also aware of situations where youth have responded to online postings related to employment and during the additional communication with the prospective employer, sexual requests are made to youth. strongly encourages parents and teens to take the necessary steps to verify the legitimacy around any prospective online job opportunities. Talk to youth about the importance of:

    • Checking out any potential job opportunities with a parent/guardian. Having another person hear about what you have been offered can help identify if it sounds legitimate.
    • Taking the time to verify the information being presented. Beyond what the person contacting you has provided, research the company name that has been given. Check to see if the person contacting you actually works for the company. Contact them through the phone number or email address provided on their official site, as opposed to the contact information (phone/email address/other) the person contacting you has provided.
    • Trusting your instincts: If anything about the situation seems weird or questionable, pay attention to this warning signal. Our bodies are designed to warn us of potential danger.

    For more information on discussions you can have with your teen related to identifying situations involving online exploitation, visit

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through its program, wants to inform the public about a new tactic being used by those extorting youth online for money and/or sexual images/videos. has received numerous reports over the last year relating to sextortion, which involves offenders secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves on live streaming video, recording the acts and then using the recording to threaten distribution unless the teen pays money. Around this same issue, there is a new tactic surfacing that involves the youth’s peer group. Threats are now being extended to other teenagers within the same social peer group. Friends are being shown the sexual image/video of their peer and being told that if they don’t share a sexual image of themselves, that the offender will distribute the already recorded sexual video/image of their friend. This tactic appears to be used to expand the number of teens being extorted for money which the tipline has seen range from $200 – $1,000.

    The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is strongly encouraging parents to have a regular conversation with their teens around online safety. Parents should openly discuss the importance of their children coming forward if they or their peers are facing concerning online situations. They should also stress why it is critical to never comply with threats, as this only makes the situation worse. It is also important to discuss the risks associated to live streaming and agreeing to do something sexual online. We strongly encourage parents to take the time and learn about ways to increase teen’s safety online by visiting

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning parents about an increasing and serious trend involving Canadian youth being extorted for money. In the last few weeks,, Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, has seen a concerning rise in teenagers reporting issues surrounding video communication with adults posing as teenagers. On platforms that allow users to communicate by video, offenders are secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves and then threatening to share the sexual content if they don’t pay money (often hundreds of dollars) to the individual.

    While many teens understand the dangers associated with recording and sharing sexual images and videos, they may not be as aware of the risks associated with live video feeds. With relative ease over live streaming, anyone can capture a still image or video of a person sexually exposing themselves – all without the other person’s knowledge.

    Parents need to have regular, open dialogue with their teen around this topic encouraging the teen to seek parental support in situations like this. It is also important to talk to teens about never complying with threats online, since in most cases this will only make matters worse. We strongly encourage parents to take the time and learn more about ways to increase your teen’s safety online by visiting and the Internet Safety section of the website.

  • The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning the public about an anonymous question and answer site called that is presently trending with Canadian youth. Recent reports made by the public to the Canadian Centre’s program (Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children) has raised significant concerns about tween’s and teen’s exposure to and/or involvement in sexually explicit commentary, cyberbullying, threats, and harassing activities on this very popular site.

    Click here to learn more.