Kids are becoming technology whizzes at seemingly younger ages every year. But what captivates your kids isn’t the lightening-quick 4G or organizational capabilities of a smartphone, but rather the hundreds of thousands of apps at their fingertips. Apps targeted to children, namely games, are a great source of entertainment, but they may be doing more than what’s advertised.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are 4 things your kid’s favorite apps may be doing without you knowing:
- collecting and sharing personal information: 59% share information, only 11% tell you so
- letting your kids spend real money- even if the app is free: 84% allow purchases within the free to download app.
- advertising: 58% include ads, 9% tell you so.
- linking to social media: 22% link to social media, 9% tell you so.
As a parent, what can you do to protect your kids and your funds from these misleading apps? The FTC recommends trying them out yourself!
- At the online app store, read the description, content rating, and user reviews. As well, check out the link about the developer
- On your couch, download and play the app with your kids. Be sure to establish rules for using apps.
- On your phone or tablet, change your settings so that downloaded content is age appropriate. Also, make sure there are passwords in place for downloads and purchases. As well, turn off the Wi-Fi and data services so the phone can’t connect the internet.
To read the full article and learn more about mobile apps, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0018-understanding-mobile-apps.