Usually parents, assuming that products for children are supposed to be safe, tend to neglect possible dangers. However, according to studies 7 out of 10 children use tablets or smart mobile devices and nearly half of them is not even in the kindergarten yet. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the threats coming from the increasing activity of kids in the digital world. In this post you will discover the most common dangers of kids apps and tips how to avoid them, so that your kid can enjoy apps in a safe way.
What kind of apps should you avoid or at least be more cautious about?
1. Apps containing advertisements
Some applications contain ads which may not be appropriate for children. Another ones practice behavioral advertising – they show the content that is most relevant to the user, presenting the product that is very attractive for a child.
2. Apps with in-app purchase option
According to studies as much as 84% of apps with this option are free to download. At times even the apps that claimed to be free contain the option of buying additional characters, scenarios etc.
3. Apps that link to social media
Some apps that link to social media can expose your child to people you would not like them to meet. Moreover, it gives them a possibility to post harmful or offensive comments or being a subject to them.
4. Apps that collect and share personal info
A number of applications store personal information without telling you so. Additionally, some app softwares share it with advertisers and data brokers, who use it for marketing campaigns according to FTC. Out of 400 hundred applications for children the majority did not inform about storing personal information. 59% of kids apps share personal info while only 11% reveal this information.
Some apps may access:
data about the device’s location
the device’s unique IDs
information about how you use the app itself
your phone and email contacts
Having read all this you might wonder: How to make sure that the app I am buying or downloading is safe for my child? Here are the most important tips:
First of all, I suggest caution and the limited principle of trust as well as doing some research on the developer whose app you are interested in. Make sure that the site from which you are downloading/buying a kids app is trustworthy. Look for opinions and reviews before your purchase. One of the site where you can find the information on safe kids apps is Momswithapps – a site where you can find family-friendly applications or Teacherswithapps – a site with app reviews and resources.
while looking for an app, look at the screen shots on the site, so that you get an idea how the app looks like
read the reviews and descriptions
find out more about the developer and their work
try out the app together with your kid. It is important to chatt with your child about possible dangers. Draw their attention to important issues, show applications worth using. Monitor what kind of apps they are in contact with and where they get them from.
set a password so that your kid doesn’t make in-app purchases
turn off the Internet or put your phone on airplane mode, so that your kid cannot access social media sites
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Magdalena| Appetite For Education
P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!