Category - Technology & kids

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Main dangers of kids apps and how to avoid them
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The phenomenon of children’s applications – everything you need to know about them

Main dangers of kids apps and how to avoid them

cute baby toddlers exploring mobile phones

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:

  • call logs

  • internet data

  • calendar data

  • 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.

 

Moreover:

  • 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

 

threats_of_kidsapps

 

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!

The phenomenon of children’s applications – everything you need to know about them

mother and adorable baby with tablet pc

These days everywhere we go, we hear the buzzing and beeping sounds of mobile devices. Children use them in public transport, in parks, at home and even at schools. How to use the technology to our advantage so that the time spent by our kids on the tablet/mobile will be both entertaining and educating for them? The answer is – children’s applications. Applications for kids are getting more and more popular as lots of them help combine fun with a possibility of gaining knowledge. Moreover, they are appropriate for children of all ages – you can find applications for toddlers, preschoolers etc.

What are the reasons for the raising popularity of children apps? And most importantly, what is the opinion of parents on them??

A handful of facts

Apps appeared in our lives in 2008 when the App Store was opened. Originally they were intended for general productivity and information retrieval e.g. email, calendar, weather information. However, due to their popularity and public demand, the scope of applications has been broadened, targeting different users, for example children.

Statistics

According to various studies, 10% of kids aged 0-1 start using apps. When it comes to older children, this percentage is much higher: 39% of kids aged 2-4 and over a half of children aged 5-8 use mobile applications. Even though the majority of children aged 12 or less use applications for entertainment, over half of them (57%) use mobile devices for educational purposes. Therefore, you have plenty applications for children at your disposal, which are aiming at developing several skills. Secondly, mobile applications are available on many devices: smartphones, tablets etc., so their portability enables children to spend quality time in almost every location.

Furthermore, are educational apps for kids really educational or is it just a sales pitch? The studies leave no doubt about several benefits of application: educational apps increase the vocabulary of 3-year old kids by 17% and by 27% for 5-year old.

Parents’ opinion

Finally, what is the parents’ view on children’s apps? 77% of them believe that mobile technology helps learn and enhance creativity. Parent Survey conducted by Moms with Apps states that over 96% of parents agree apps for children are beneficial, many of them pointing out the educational and developmental benefits that children derive from them. According to PBS Kids Parent Survey, 68 % of parents purchase or plan to purchase apps for their children. What do they pay attention to when purchasing them? Top three factors are:

 – price

– content

– characters their kids are familiar with

Possible threats of kids apps

The world of mobile applications isn’t that flawless according to their opponents. Among the drawbacks of kids apps, they point out the privacy concerns. According to the report from the U.S Federal Trade Commission some apps stores and developers store personal information, for example contact details, internet data. Moreover, a number of kids applications inserts an option for in-app purchases, which could pose a threat to a child as well. Finally, some experts state that kids already spend too much time in front of TV/tablets and they consider apps as one of another time-consuming product for children in the digital world.

Used wisely, kids applications are a great alternative to conventional games and modes of learning as they promote reading, build up vocabulary and help develop math and memory skills through fun.

 

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!

 

 

 

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