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Category: Online Safety for Kids

How to Tell If Your Child is Involved in Cyberbullying

cyberbullying of a child

If you keep up with the news, then you’re all too familiar with stories about cyberbullying. As a parent, you might be concerned that your child could become a victim of online bullying. Equally worrying is the possibility that your child is a cyberbully.

Whether your child is being bullied online or your child is doing the bullying, there’s a good chance that they won’t tell you what’s going on. However your child is involved in cyberbullying, it can have serious consequences, which is why you must learn how to recognize the signs. The critical first step to helping your child is being able to tell if they’re involved in online bullying.

You want to protect your child from the dangers of the world and that includes cyberbullying. Even if you don’t consider yourself internet savvy, you can still familiarize yourself with the indicators for if your child is bullying other children online or if they’re the target of cyberbullying. Since your child may not even know what counts as cyberbullying, stay vigilant for any signs that they may be involved in online bullying.

The Dangers of Cyberbullying

To start, the definition of cyberbullying is using technology such as social media to deliberately and repeatedly harass, threaten, and humiliate another person. Online bullying can range from someone spreading rumors online and creating fake social media profiles to sending mean texts or emails. Your son or daughter might not come home from school with a black eye, but online bullying can be just as damaging as physical bullying.

Because cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon since it’s directly related to the rise of the internet, there isn’t much research available regarding its long-term effects. But, psychologists agree that being the victim of traditional bullying puts a child at risk for anxiety and depression as well as decreases their ability to concentrate in school. Individuals who experience emotional trauma as children or adolescents can carry that stress and anguish well into adulthood.

The victims of bullying aren’t the only ones who suffer. Bullies themselves endure long-term consequences. Unlike their well-adjusted peers, bullies often don’t learn essential life skills such as the ability to compromise and negotiate. Children who never grasp how to work with others could have trouble forming healthy relationships as an adult and may even be more likely to engage in criminal activity. For both bullies and victims, cyberbullying can lead to mental health issues in children.

How to Tell If Your Child Is the Victim of Cyberbullying

Often, children are reluctant to tell their parents that someone is bullying them. In the case of cyberbullying, kids sometimes don’t even realize that they’re being bullied. Since there is a good chance your child won’t come forward themselves, you should know how to tell if your child is the victim of online bullying.

Children with learning or thinking differences could be at a higher risk of being cyberbullied. Signs to watch out for include sudden changes in their computer usage, not wanting to use the computer in common spaces, and changing the screen when you’re around. If your child seems nervous or on edge when they receive a message, text, or email, someone might be bullying them online.

Your child expressing feelings of loneliness or saying something along the lines of “I have no friends” could also indicate they are the victim of cyberbullying. Finally, if your child becomes withdrawn and doesn’t want to go to school, there’s likely an issue that requires your attention. Encourage them to turn off social media, and on your own, research the school’s cyberbullying policies. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need to involve other parents, the school, and possibly law enforcement.

Signs Your Child Is a Cyberbully

Being the victim isn’t the only way your child can be involved in cyberbullying. They could be the one doing the online bullying. Your first instinct might be to shut your eyes and cover your ears and deny that your child could ever do such a thing, but ignoring the problem only serves to deny your child the chance to change their behavior and learn from what they’ve done. You can’t teach your child not to be a cyberbully if you ignore the signs that they are one.

Furthermore, failing to recognize your child’s actions could mean that you’re overlooking underlying issues. Keep in mind that cyberbullying is even more common among older teenagers (14-18). They might be cyberbullying in retaliation or feeling pressure to follow the lead of someone in their peer group and simply acting as a cyberbully bystander. It’s possible that online bullying is their way of handling a bigger stressor such as divorce or changing schools. You’ll never get to the bottom of the issue if you don’t first see the signs and confront the fact that your child is a cyberbully.

One major indicator that your child is involved in online bullying is if they’re unwilling to discuss or share information about their online accounts or activities. As with the victims of cyberbullying, increased secretiveness is a warning sign. If you’re suspicious, then enforce keeping devices in commonly used areas.

Whether your child is showing signs that they are a cyberbully or the target of cyberbullying, your first step in addressing the issue should be talking to your child. One way to start the conversation is to share your own experience with bullying. But, you won’t be able to have that all-important talk unless you’re able to tell if your child is involved in cyberbullying. Take time to familiarize yourself with the indicators, and then, make a point of staying vigilant. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for both the victim and bully, so keep a watchful eye for any signs that your child is involved in online bullying.

If you keep up with the news, then you’re all too familiar with stories about cyberbullying. As a parent, you might be concerned that your child could become a victim of online bullying. Equally worrying is the possibility that your child is a cyberbully.

Whether your child is being bullied online or your child is doing the bullying, there’s a good chance that they won’t tell you what’s going on. However your child is involved in cyberbullying, it can have serious consequences, which is why you must learn how to recognize the signs. The critical first step to helping your child is being able to tell if they’re involved in online bullying.

You want to protect your child from the dangers of the world and that includes cyberbullying. Even if you don’t consider yourself internet savvy, you can still familiarize yourself with the indicators for if your child is bullying other children online or if they’re the target of cyberbullying. Since your child may not even know what counts as cyberbullying, stay vigilant for any signs that they may be involved in online bullying.

The Dangers of Cyberbullying

To start, the definition of cyberbullying is using technology such as social media to deliberately and repeatedly harass, threaten, and humiliate another person. Online bullying can range from someone spreading rumors online and creating fake social media profiles to sending mean texts or emails. Your son or daughter might not come home from school with a black eye, but online bullying can be just as damaging as physical bullying.

Because cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon since it’s directly related to the rise of the internet, there isn’t much research available regarding its long-term effects. But, psychologists agree that being the victim of traditional bullying puts a child at risk for anxiety and depression as well as decreases their ability to concentrate in school. Individuals who experience emotional trauma as children or adolescents can carry that stress and anguish well into adulthood.

The victims of bullying aren’t the only ones who suffer. Bullies themselves endure long-term consequences. Unlike their well-adjusted peers, bullies often don’t learn essential life skills such as the ability to compromise and negotiate. Children who never grasp how to work with others could have trouble forming healthy relationships as an adult and may even be more likely to engage in criminal activity. For both bullies and victims, cyberbullying can lead to mental health issues in children.

How to Tell If Your Child Is the Victim of Cyberbullying

Often, children are reluctant to tell their parents that someone is bullying them. In the case of cyberbullying, kids sometimes don’t even realize that they’re being bullied. Since there is a good chance your child won’t come forward themselves, you should know how to tell if your child is the victim of online bullying.

Children with learning or thinking differences could be at a higher risk of being cyberbullied. Signs to watch out for include sudden changes in their computer usage, not wanting to use the computer in common spaces, and changing the screen when you’re around. If your child seems nervous or on edge when they receive a message, text, or email, someone might be bullying them online.

Your child expressing feelings of loneliness or saying something along the lines of “I have no friends” could also indicate they are the victim of cyberbullying. Finally, if your child becomes withdrawn and doesn’t want to go to school, there’s likely an issue that requires your attention. Encourage them to turn off social media, and on your own, research the school’s cyberbullying policies. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need to involve other parents, the school, and possibly law enforcement.

Signs Your Child Is a Cyberbully

Being the victim isn’t the only way your child can be involved in cyberbullying. They could be the one doing the online bullying. Your first instinct might be to shut your eyes and cover your ears and deny that your child could ever do such a thing, but ignoring the problem only serves to deny your child the chance to change their behavior and learn from what they’ve done. You can’t teach your child not to be a cyberbully if you ignore the signs that they are one.

Furthermore, failing to recognize your child’s actions could mean that you’re overlooking underlying issues. Keep in mind that cyberbullying is even more common among older teenagers (14-18). They might be cyberbullying in retaliation or feeling pressure to follow the lead of someone in their peer group and simply acting as a cyberbully bystander. It’s possible that online bullying is their way of handling a bigger stressor such as divorce or changing schools. You’ll never get to the bottom of the issue if you don’t first see the signs and confront the fact that your child is a cyberbully.

One major indicator that your child is involved in online bullying is if they’re unwilling to discuss or share information about their online accounts or activities. As with the victims of cyberbullying, increased secretiveness is a warning sign. If you’re suspicious, then enforce keeping devices in commonly used areas.

Whether your child is showing signs that they are a cyberbully or the target of cyberbullying, your first step in addressing the issue should be talking to your child. One way to start the conversation is to share your own experience with bullying. But, you won’t be able to have that all-important talk unless you’re able to tell if your child is involved in cyberbullying. Take time to familiarize yourself with the indicators, and then, make a point of staying vigilant. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for both the victim and bully, so keep a watchful eye for any signs that your child is involved in online bullying.

Digital Etiquette to Teach Your Kids When They’re Young

Digital Etiquette to Teach Kids

It’s true that the modern generation is far more tech-savvy than we ever were around their age. Almost everything they do, from learning to leisure, can be done online.  And as you know, the internet can be a dangerous place — there’s no shortage of online trolls and predators just waiting to create trouble… or worse.

You certainly don’t want your children to fall victim to cyberbullying or to discover they’re turning into bullies themselves. And it’s a parent’s worst nightmare even thinking about predators talking to their child online.  So, just as vital it is to teach your kids digital etiquette and rules of safety in the offline world, teaching them how to be responsible cyber citizens is equally important (and perhaps more so!).

With this in mind, we’ve outlined five online behaviors to teach your kids when they’re still young. Consider this a crash course in online etiquette for the little ones in your life.

Keep Private Information Private

First and foremost, and it goes without saying, make sure your kids understand that private information should never be shared online.

Explain to them that things like their home address, phone number, social security number, bank account details, etc. are meant to be confidential, so they should never add such sensitive information to their social media accounts or share it anywhere online.

Also, things that are personal — such as thoughts and emotions — are best shared in person with family, not over the internet with strangers.

Think Twice Before Posting or Hitting “Send”

Remind your kids that once something is posted online, deleting it does not necessarily mean that it’s gone from the internet — it can be found again. So, just like in real life, it’s always a good idea to think long and hard before posting something, commenting, or hitting “send.”

And it’s not just about typos or grammatical errors. At this young age, it’s easy to dismiss questionable posts or comments, but what happens when it’s time to apply for college or a job?

Prospective employers and universities often conduct an online background check — including social media — and even an old post can damage your kid’s reputation.

In fact, 31% of college admission officers visit the applicant’s social media profiles to learn more about them, and 30% of institutions have rejected an applicant due to information they found online.

So, encourage your kids to be scrupulous when it comes to their online activities to ensure they don’t post or say something that may be misconstrued or deemed offensive.

Be Polite and Respectful

This is one of the most crucial etiquettes to instill in your kids’ minds. Rude behavior or being hurtful to others is not acceptable whether the interaction is online or off.

So, here’s what you need to remind your kids about digital etiquette in regards to online conversations:

  • Treat others how you want to be treated.
  • Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say in-person and also mind your social media manners.
  • Never type when angry, you may say something that you’ll regret later or spark unnecessary conflict. Respond only when you’ve cooled off.
  • Don’t spread rumors or post insulting comments. Keep your tone polite, positive, and truthful.
  • It is always best to discuss sensitive or tense issues with the person directly instead of posting something online or sending a mean message.

Don’t Interact With Strangers

Let your kids know that just as they wouldn’t talk to complete strangers in-person, it’s a good idea to not interact with unknown people online.

They have no obligation to accept friend requests or to follow people back. If they don’t know someone in person or don’t spend time with them offline, then there’s no reason for the child to connect with them online. They have the right to choose who they want to converse with, and as their parent, you must teach them to choose wisely.

Interacting with strangers is common when playing online games, and that’s fine in some cases, but they should always set boundaries about what they share and block people who are pressuring them.

Make it clear that it’s easier for people to hide their true identity and intentions online, so there’s nothing wrong with blocking people if they feel the need to.

Dodge Digital Drama

Let your kids know that they won’t always agree with everyone online. Clashing opinions can sometimes be upsetting or infuriating, but it’s essential to learn when to exit a conversation if things are getting rude or nasty.

Instant messaging, posting comments, or tweeting are all spontaneous communication — which makes it fun — but it’s easy to get carried away and start a heated argument that serves no purpose except causing more mental distress.

So, teach your kids to log off, not reply to the message, or refrain from posting a negative comment when they spot needless drama erupting. It’s best to exit the conversation and deal with the matter in-person if need be.

Over to You

Teaching digital etiquette takes time, and you’ll need to have multiple conversations with your kid(s) to instill these best practices. You’ll have to explain the why behind everything, as that’s how your kids will continue to believe in these manners even when they’re adults.

Finally, don’t worry about being perceived as a controlling or overprotective parent by friending/following your kids on social media, frequenting their online activities, and setting boundaries — it’s a way to keep them safe online when they’re not old enough to know what’s best for them.

About The Author – Rob Gabriele is a professional writer and editor at SafeHome.org. He has a rich experience in the field of home security technology and smart home automation and a passion for distilling complex tech information into easy-to-read and enjoyable content. This lends well to writing and publishing content that empowers people to stay safe and secure in this rapidly changing world. When he’s not crafting premier content in this niche, Rob spends his time reading, enjoying the outdoors, or trying to master his air-drum solo of ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins.

It’s true that the modern generation is far more tech-savvy than we ever were around their age. Almost everything they do, from learning to leisure, can be done online.  And as you know, the internet can be a dangerous place — there’s no shortage of online trolls and predators just waiting to create trouble… or worse.

You certainly don’t want your children to fall victim to cyberbullying or to discover they’re turning into bullies themselves. And it’s a parent’s worst nightmare even thinking about predators talking to their child online.  So, just as vital it is to teach your kids digital etiquette and rules of safety in the offline world, teaching them how to be responsible cyber citizens is equally important (and perhaps more so!).

With this in mind, we’ve outlined five online behaviors to teach your kids when they’re still young. Consider this a crash course in online etiquette for the little ones in your life.

Keep Private Information Private

First and foremost, and it goes without saying, make sure your kids understand that private information should never be shared online.

Explain to them that things like their home address, phone number, social security number, bank account details, etc. are meant to be confidential, so they should never add such sensitive information to their social media accounts or share it anywhere online.

Also, things that are personal — such as thoughts and emotions — are best shared in person with family, not over the internet with strangers.

Think Twice Before Posting or Hitting “Send”

Remind your kids that once something is posted online, deleting it does not necessarily mean that it’s gone from the internet — it can be found again. So, just like in real life, it’s always a good idea to think long and hard before posting something, commenting, or hitting “send.”

And it’s not just about typos or grammatical errors. At this young age, it’s easy to dismiss questionable posts or comments, but what happens when it’s time to apply for college or a job?

Prospective employers and universities often conduct an online background check — including social media — and even an old post can damage your kid’s reputation.

In fact, 31% of college admission officers visit the applicant’s social media profiles to learn more about them, and 30% of institutions have rejected an applicant due to information they found online.

So, encourage your kids to be scrupulous when it comes to their online activities to ensure they don’t post or say something that may be misconstrued or deemed offensive.

Be Polite and Respectful

This is one of the most crucial etiquettes to instill in your kids’ minds. Rude behavior or being hurtful to others is not acceptable whether the interaction is online or off.

So, here’s what you need to remind your kids about digital etiquette in regards to online conversations:

  • Treat others how you want to be treated.
  • Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say in-person and also mind your social media manners.
  • Never type when angry, you may say something that you’ll regret later or spark unnecessary conflict. Respond only when you’ve cooled off.
  • Don’t spread rumors or post insulting comments. Keep your tone polite, positive, and truthful.
  • It is always best to discuss sensitive or tense issues with the person directly instead of posting something online or sending a mean message.

Don’t Interact With Strangers

Let your kids know that just as they wouldn’t talk to complete strangers in-person, it’s a good idea to not interact with unknown people online.

They have no obligation to accept friend requests or to follow people back. If they don’t know someone in person or don’t spend time with them offline, then there’s no reason for the child to connect with them online. They have the right to choose who they want to converse with, and as their parent, you must teach them to choose wisely.

Interacting with strangers is common when playing online games, and that’s fine in some cases, but they should always set boundaries about what they share and block people who are pressuring them.

Make it clear that it’s easier for people to hide their true identity and intentions online, so there’s nothing wrong with blocking people if they feel the need to.

Dodge Digital Drama

Let your kids know that they won’t always agree with everyone online. Clashing opinions can sometimes be upsetting or infuriating, but it’s essential to learn when to exit a conversation if things are getting rude or nasty.

Instant messaging, posting comments, or tweeting are all spontaneous communication — which makes it fun — but it’s easy to get carried away and start a heated argument that serves no purpose except causing more mental distress.

So, teach your kids to log off, not reply to the message, or refrain from posting a negative comment when they spot needless drama erupting. It’s best to exit the conversation and deal with the matter in-person if need be.

Over to You

Teaching digital etiquette takes time, and you’ll need to have multiple conversations with your kid(s) to instill these best practices. You’ll have to explain the why behind everything, as that’s how your kids will continue to believe in these manners even when they’re adults.

Finally, don’t worry about being perceived as a controlling or overprotective parent by friending/following your kids on social media, frequenting their online activities, and setting boundaries — it’s a way to keep them safe online when they’re not old enough to know what’s best for them.

About The Author – Rob Gabriele is a professional writer and editor at SafeHome.org. He has a rich experience in the field of home security technology and smart home automation and a passion for distilling complex tech information into easy-to-read and enjoyable content. This lends well to writing and publishing content that empowers people to stay safe and secure in this rapidly changing world. When he’s not crafting premier content in this niche, Rob spends his time reading, enjoying the outdoors, or trying to master his air-drum solo of ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins.

Ads in Kids’ Apps: Recognizing Manipulative Practices

Recognizing manipulative ads in kids apps

The online world is a very helpful place, brimming with content that helps your child learn and apps to keep youngsters connected with family members. However, there are negative sides to the web too. Today, we’re going to look at ads in kids’ apps and how they can manipulate your child.

The Problem with Ads on Kids Apps

Parents today have to be diligent about making sure their kids don’t share too much information online and ensuring that they are protected against cyberbullying. Even the apps your children use can have issues that need to be addressed.

Most of today’s app creators and business leaders use display ads to make money – and that applies whether you’re accessing an app for children or one for adults.

One study discovered that some apps are even designed to make children feel guilty if they don’t pay for in-game content.

Other apps have earned backlash from parents over the years because they serve adult-themed content, even though the apps themselves are tailored to children. Certain groups are starting to take steps to prevent kids’ app creators from adding dangerous or inappropriate ads to games and educational apps.

In the meantime, as the FTC examines the ad practices used by developers, here are some malicious practices your kids need to be aware of.

Dangers of Sharing Private Information

Children don’t always have the best grasp of the dangers associated with sharing information online. They don’t know what dangerous people might be able to use their address or phone number for. They often feel comfortable revealing information that they perceive to be common knowledge, like their age or full name.

To ensure that your child’s protected from ads trying to gather personal information, make sure your kids know the difference between sensitive and safe information. It might be helpful to give your child a list of information they should never share online that they can check if they’re unsure.

Tell your children to come and get you if an app ever asks for information that they’re not sure is “private” or not.

Your children should always feel comfortable coming to you about anything they’re unsure about when they’re using the online world. Make sure you create an atmosphere that supports open communication about the digital landscape.

Excessive Amount of Ads You Can’t Control

If a child comes and asks you whether they can download an app on their smartphone or tablet, it’s usually a good idea to check it for yourself first – before you agree.

Even if the app seems to be appropriate for your child’s age range or educational in nature, there’s always a risk that it’s packed full of ads that your children can’t control.

Examine the app for yourself after installation to make sure that there aren’t many ads that will overwhelm your child. You may need to explore the app in-depth for a while before you start seeing the different ad options available.

It’s also worth doing some extra research online by checking out comments and reviews left by other parents.

Searching for the name of an app on Google should give you some insights into the kind of content it shows. You can also check the ratings on the Apple or Google play store. If you notice other parents warning people away from the app, don’t allow your child to download it.

If you can’t find any information about the app online at all, then this could be another bad sign. It indicates that the company responsible for the app may have deleted negative comments.

If your ban on the app is met with your child’s protest, the best way to address it is to be open about why you don’t agree with them using the app.

You can discuss any negative comments or bad practices the app developers are using – in an appropriate manner, of course.That way, your child will become more sensitive to certain topics and issues should they arise in some other app they’re using.

Avoiding In-App Purchase Ads

It’s becoming increasingly common for modern app developers to list their apps as “free” only to overwhelm children with a host of things that they need to pay for once they’ve set up an account.

These “pay to play” games encourage children to pay for extra lives or in-game content and can even guilt them into feeling like they need to spend their parents’ money.

Although you can always set limitations on your child’s phone and tablets that prevent them from being able to make a purchase in an app, it’s best to avoid games and apps with internal purchases entirely if you can.

Usually, you’ll be able to see whether in-game charges are an issue on the description for the app on the Google or Apple store.

If your child comes to you asking for money for an app that they’ve downloaded for educational purposes, make sure that you carefully check the terms and conditions of the purchase.

Ensure that purchasing a specific item doesn’t mean that you sign up for any recurring subscriptions or open the door to new ads.

Apps for Children Shouldn’t be Filled with Ads

Nowadays, many businesses develop mobile apps because they offer various benefits – from data collection to targeted marketing messages in order to increase sales or awareness. However, while adults can easily detect dishonest practices, for kids, they may not always be that obvious.

A great app for children should be a source of education and entertainment. The best apps can help your child to develop new skills and provide them with access to useful information. Good apps can also be an excellent way to keep your child’s mind active and help them with all kinds of learning challenges.

While the occasional ad may be a necessity with some apps that need help to pay for development and building processes, your children’s apps shouldn’t be riddled with ads.

Until the FTC and other groups can work together to limit the kind of advertising children are exposed to on smartphones and tablets, it’s up to us as parents to carefully assess and choose the right apps for our children.

Ashley Wilson - WriterAshley Wilson is a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices yoga via Youtube. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

The online world is a very helpful place, brimming with content that helps your child learn and apps to keep youngsters connected with family members. However, there are negative sides to the web too. Today, we’re going to look at ads in kids’ apps and how they can manipulate your child.

The Problem with Ads on Kids Apps

Parents today have to be diligent about making sure their kids don’t share too much information online and ensuring that they are protected against cyberbullying. Even the apps your children use can have issues that need to be addressed.

Most of today’s app creators and business leaders use display ads to make money – and that applies whether you’re accessing an app for children or one for adults.

One study discovered that some apps are even designed to make children feel guilty if they don’t pay for in-game content.

Other apps have earned backlash from parents over the years because they serve adult-themed content, even though the apps themselves are tailored to children. Certain groups are starting to take steps to prevent kids’ app creators from adding dangerous or inappropriate ads to games and educational apps.

In the meantime, as the FTC examines the ad practices used by developers, here are some malicious practices your kids need to be aware of.

Dangers of Sharing Private Information

Children don’t always have the best grasp of the dangers associated with sharing information online. They don’t know what dangerous people might be able to use their address or phone number for. They often feel comfortable revealing information that they perceive to be common knowledge, like their age or full name.

To ensure that your child’s protected from ads trying to gather personal information, make sure your kids know the difference between sensitive and safe information. It might be helpful to give your child a list of information they should never share online that they can check if they’re unsure.

Tell your children to come and get you if an app ever asks for information that they’re not sure is “private” or not.

Your children should always feel comfortable coming to you about anything they’re unsure about when they’re using the online world. Make sure you create an atmosphere that supports open communication about the digital landscape.

Excessive Amount of Ads You Can’t Control

If a child comes and asks you whether they can download an app on their smartphone or tablet, it’s usually a good idea to check it for yourself first – before you agree.

Even if the app seems to be appropriate for your child’s age range or educational in nature, there’s always a risk that it’s packed full of ads that your children can’t control.

Examine the app for yourself after installation to make sure that there aren’t many ads that will overwhelm your child. You may need to explore the app in-depth for a while before you start seeing the different ad options available.

It’s also worth doing some extra research online by checking out comments and reviews left by other parents.

Searching for the name of an app on Google should give you some insights into the kind of content it shows. You can also check the ratings on the Apple or Google play store. If you notice other parents warning people away from the app, don’t allow your child to download it.

If you can’t find any information about the app online at all, then this could be another bad sign. It indicates that the company responsible for the app may have deleted negative comments.

If your ban on the app is met with your child’s protest, the best way to address it is to be open about why you don’t agree with them using the app.

You can discuss any negative comments or bad practices the app developers are using – in an appropriate manner, of course.That way, your child will become more sensitive to certain topics and issues should they arise in some other app they’re using.

Avoiding In-App Purchase Ads

It’s becoming increasingly common for modern app developers to list their apps as “free” only to overwhelm children with a host of things that they need to pay for once they’ve set up an account.

These “pay to play” games encourage children to pay for extra lives or in-game content and can even guilt them into feeling like they need to spend their parents’ money.

Although you can always set limitations on your child’s phone and tablets that prevent them from being able to make a purchase in an app, it’s best to avoid games and apps with internal purchases entirely if you can.

Usually, you’ll be able to see whether in-game charges are an issue on the description for the app on the Google or Apple store.

If your child comes to you asking for money for an app that they’ve downloaded for educational purposes, make sure that you carefully check the terms and conditions of the purchase.

Ensure that purchasing a specific item doesn’t mean that you sign up for any recurring subscriptions or open the door to new ads.

Apps for Children Shouldn’t be Filled with Ads

Nowadays, many businesses develop mobile apps because they offer various benefits – from data collection to targeted marketing messages in order to increase sales or awareness. However, while adults can easily detect dishonest practices, for kids, they may not always be that obvious.

A great app for children should be a source of education and entertainment. The best apps can help your child to develop new skills and provide them with access to useful information. Good apps can also be an excellent way to keep your child’s mind active and help them with all kinds of learning challenges.

While the occasional ad may be a necessity with some apps that need help to pay for development and building processes, your children’s apps shouldn’t be riddled with ads.

Until the FTC and other groups can work together to limit the kind of advertising children are exposed to on smartphones and tablets, it’s up to us as parents to carefully assess and choose the right apps for our children.

Ashley Wilson - WriterAshley Wilson is a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices yoga via Youtube. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

Instant Answers for Kids Using Safe Search

KidzSearch - Google Safe Search

KidzSearch Instant Answers is a new search feature specifically designed to help students find the information they need. It integrates many different sections of KidzSearch to help kids discover what they are searching for, including younger students who often have difficulties doing online searches to find relevant content.

Instant Answers provides high quality reviewed information related to all searches next to the regular KidzSearch safe search results, such as the student encyclopedia with over 200,000 entries designed just for kids with simplified articles.  Another example of Instant Answers is for KidzTube, which contains over 50,000 handpicked high quality learning videos. Other items include educational games, related topics, AI tutoring, and more.

The information presented via KidzSearch Instant Answers is visual with large images and simplified summaries. It also has links to get more details. This can help students get a general feel about a topic.  While it might directly answer their question, it can also help a student do a more refined search, or to expand their search in areas they were not aware of before seeing the topic information.

AI Search Results

The search results use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms to provide a virtual tutoring experience while they do their online research. The AI system might show them the answer to a math question and offer step-by-step tutoring on how it was solved or give a related student-focused article. It is like having a virtual tutor with them when they do their online research.

Performance is very important. With each search, multiple technologies go to work in the background to integrate content in fractions of a second. The entire system has taken years to develop and will keep improving as the company moves towards adding AI tutoring to the online student search experience in a seamless manner.

Try Instant Answers for Students

Students often have a lot of quality educational resources, but they may not know where to start. KidzSearch Instant Answers provides a solution to this problem by moving high quality reviewed resources to them. An API is also being developed that can allow companies to tap into these features to help power their educational applications.

Give Instant Answers a try at the top of our site, or see what it looks like for this sample search term:  Paul Revere

Whether you are a student, or a parent committed to staying informed about internet safety technology, the safe search tools we provide in partnership with KidzSearch is our highest priority.  Safe research resources allow anyone of any age to seek out the information they need with a much lower risk of being exposed to harmful content.

A Brief History of Google SafeSearch

Google is over 20 years old.  On November 11, 2009, a few years after becoming the world’s most popular search engine, Google introduced the ability for users too lock their basic level of SafeSearch for Google’s web and image searches. On December 12, 2012, Google removed the option to turn off the filter entirely, requiring users to enter more specific search queries to access inappropriate content.  However, the safe search filtering was and remains to be a basic level of filtering.

Safe Search Kids was founded on July 16, 2009 to provide Google basic filtering from our website, but it was only in recent years that we partnered with KidzSearch to use their strict filtering API to block bad search terms and spelling variations that are likely to lead to bad websites. In addition, 1000’s of website domains are blocked from appearing in the results that many other parental control filters allow.  In addition, the whole search experience, with kid-focused meta-content/results and a more visual experience is improved with a search designed for them.

We encourage schools and parents at home to use us as a one stop gateway to safe search tools for the web, images, wiki for kids, and videos.

KidzSearch Instant Answers is a new search feature specifically designed to help students find the information they need. It integrates many different sections of KidzSearch to help kids discover what they are searching for, including younger students who often have difficulties doing online searches to find relevant content.

Instant Answers provides high quality reviewed information related to all searches next to the regular KidzSearch safe search results, such as the student encyclopedia with over 200,000 entries designed just for kids with simplified articles.  Another example of Instant Answers is for KidzTube, which contains over 50,000 handpicked high quality learning videos. Other items include educational games, related topics, AI tutoring, and more.

The information presented via KidzSearch Instant Answers is visual with large images and simplified summaries. It also has links to get more details. This can help students get a general feel about a topic.  While it might directly answer their question, it can also help a student do a more refined search, or to expand their search in areas they were not aware of before seeing the topic information.

AI Search Results

The search results use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms to provide a virtual tutoring experience while they do their online research. The AI system might show them the answer to a math question and offer step-by-step tutoring on how it was solved or give a related student-focused article. It is like having a virtual tutor with them when they do their online research.

Performance is very important. With each search, multiple technologies go to work in the background to integrate content in fractions of a second. The entire system has taken years to develop and will keep improving as the company moves towards adding AI tutoring to the online student search experience in a seamless manner.

Try Instant Answers for Students

Students often have a lot of quality educational resources, but they may not know where to start. KidzSearch Instant Answers provides a solution to this problem by moving high quality reviewed resources to them. An API is also being developed that can allow companies to tap into these features to help power their educational applications.

Give Instant Answers a try at the top of our site, or see what it looks like for this sample search term:  Paul Revere

Whether you are a student, or a parent committed to staying informed about internet safety technology, the safe search tools we provide in partnership with KidzSearch is our highest priority.  Safe research resources allow anyone of any age to seek out the information they need with a much lower risk of being exposed to harmful content.

A Brief History of Google SafeSearch

Google is over 20 years old.  On November 11, 2009, a few years after becoming the world’s most popular search engine, Google introduced the ability for users too lock their basic level of SafeSearch for Google’s web and image searches. On December 12, 2012, Google removed the option to turn off the filter entirely, requiring users to enter more specific search queries to access inappropriate content.  However, the safe search filtering was and remains to be a basic level of filtering.

Safe Search Kids was founded on July 16, 2009 to provide Google basic filtering from our website, but it was only in recent years that we partnered with KidzSearch to use their strict filtering API to block bad search terms and spelling variations that are likely to lead to bad websites. In addition, 1000’s of website domains are blocked from appearing in the results that many other parental control filters allow.  In addition, the whole search experience, with kid-focused meta-content/results and a more visual experience is improved with a search designed for them.

We encourage schools and parents at home to use us as a one stop gateway to safe search tools for the web, images, wiki for kids, and videos.

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