Category: Online Safety for Kids

How To Set Parental Controls For In-App Purchases

Parental Controls For In-App Purchases

Ensuring your child is safe online doesn’t just mean protecting them from other users. Apps can provide your child with tempting offers of additional features and tokens, encouraging them to spend money. Keep reading to learn how to set parental controls for in-app purchases and keep your child safe online. Don’t miss out on this crucial information.

What Are In-App Purchases?

In-app purchases are a clever marketing strategy for app creators. They allow you to purchase additional features within an app that make using the app more accessible. In-app purchases come in different forms:

  • Subscriptions – an example of an in-app subscription purchase would apply to services like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon prime. For an additional fee, you can subscribe to a premium service by adding to your monthly payments. If you use these applications in your home, your child might subscribe to a premium service and add to your monthly bill without your knowledge.
  • Unlocking permanent non-consumable features – some apps allow you to upgrade the features and access more in your plan with a paid upgrade, like unlocking the whole game after a free trial.
  • Consumable purchases – many consumable purchases include tokens and lives or spendable in-game currencies. Consumable purchases can rack up a hefty bill if you’re not on top of your in-app purchase controls.

Now that you know some in-app purchases to look out for, you can begin listing all of the apps and games your child accesses and setting parental controls for these applications.

The Dangers Of In-App Purchases

In-app purchases can be tricky to resist. Often, you purchase an app for a specific purpose and download it only to find that you can’t use it properly without making an in-app purchase.

For children, in-app purchases are tricky to resist, such as purchasing a premium pass to access more of their favorite films and games. Or, your child might purchase lives or tokens to make a game more accessible and lose track of how many lives or tokens they have purchased.

Children are especially vulnerable to in-app purchases, as many do not yet know the actual value of money and can intentionally rack up a hefty bill without your consent.

How To Set Parental Controls For In-App Purchases

Disabling in-app purchases work differently depending on which app or device your child uses. Below you’ll find a list of different platforms and how to disable in-app purchases.

iOS Apple

In the settings menu, there will be an option called ‘screen time’. Here, you can specify that this phone is your child’s phone. This will allow you to set a parental password and place your child’s content and privacy restrictions. You will also have the option to restrict iPhone and Apple Store purchases in this section.

Android

Android primarily operates using Google Play for app purchases. To restrict in-app purchases on an Android phone, you should enter the Google Play settings and select the ‘user controls’ option. Then, you can set a pin for purchases. So long as you do not share this pin with your child, this will mean that they need your consent for any purchases they make on their phone.

As a side note, Android TV Boxes also feature options for parental controls and anti-virus options, so if your children are using them for streaming to a big screen, be sure to set them up correctly.

Games Consoles

Whether your kids are glued to their Xbox, Nintendo, playstation, or one of the lesser known consoles such as the Evercade, or the Atari VCS, you’ll want to rest in the knowledge that they’re enjoying their games safely.

For additional controls for your child’s games consoles you should be able to amend this via the Account Settings menu to set more advanced permissions for your child’s activity.

Educating Your Child About In-App Purchases

In addition to setting parental controls, educating your child about the dangers of in-app purchases and why they must avoid them could be beneficial. Teaching your child the value of money will help them take online spending seriously. In-app purchases can be highly compelling and manipulative, and even older adults can succumb to their appeal. Teaching your child that these kinds of purchases are dangerous will go a long way in establishing their financial awareness for the future.

Implement Parental Control Software

Many parental control tools can help you keep your child safe online and monitor their activity. You can block your child from specific applications and see what they’re accessing on the internet. Of course, you should not use this kind of software to invade your child’s privacy, only to ensure that they are not cyberbullied and that they are not spending money on in-app purchases or revealing personal information to strangers.

Parental Control Settings for In-App Purchases

Summary

Allowing your child to access the internet can be highly frightening for parents. Not only is your child vulnerable to online predators, but they can be preyed upon by companies offering persuasive in-app purchases.

By implementing parental controls, you can be confident that your child cannot spend money online without your permission – which will be a massive weight off your back. You might consider using parental control software if you want to monitor your child’s online activity and set parental controls across all applications.

Reducing Harm When Teaching Computers to Children

Reducing Harm When Teaching Computers to Children

More and more children are using smartphones, tablets and laptops for playing games, reading, watching cartoons and learning. It’s difficult to separate everyday life from computer use. Parents themselves determine how often children will use technology and what exactly they will do.

From researching articles to exploring news in the media, taking an online class, connecting on social media, or passing the time playing a game, it will always be a challenge to manage what a child does online.  So, it only make sense to properly teach a child how to effectively and safely us a computer, tablet or smart phone.

The computer does not harm itself: content and time of use are important

Much as been written about the dangers of computers. Constant use of a computer by children can lead to vision problems, poor posture and diseases of the back and neck, dermatitis and breathing problems.  Experts also point to how technology can harm a child’s psyche.  Most likely, they mean the impact of computer games and dangerous content on the behavior of children and adolescents.

The Department of Education in Northern Ireland names roughly the same risks: postural problems, photosensitive epilepsy, uncontrolled consumption of content. WHO pays the most attention to the fact that children spend time at computers instead of moving more and playing outdoors.

Vision

Doctors have long believed that screen flicker aggravates nearsightedness, and have recommended working at a computer only with a protective screen. But studies conducted over 20 years have shown that the computer does not harm vision, although it can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS), which includes eye fatigue and headaches.  Permanent impairment to vision due to Myopia is affected by heredity and lack of ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, it is more important for a child to walk in the fresh air in order to maintain vision.

Problems with the muscles of the back and neck

The researchers interviewed more than 400 children in New York schools and found that the back and neck are more likely to hurt those who sit at the computer more. The study was small, but the same data is given in the Hopkins University guide. The compilers warn that those who sit at the computer for a long time develop not only back and neck problems, but also injuries from repetitive deformities, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid these risks, children should take breaks every half an hour and study in comfortable chairs.

Impact of dangerous content

Psychologists often say that children who play violent computer games or watch violent videos are more aggressive than others. Scientists at Dartmouth College conducted a meta-analysis of such studies and saw that children who play violent computer games are more likely to fight in school and on the street, damage property, such as school furniture. But the research doesn’t tell us what’s causing and what’s the effect — it’s possible that initially more aggressive kids are more likely to play violent computer games.

It seems that the more children stay at home, the more they are exposed to dangerous content. In a 2011 study, scientists saw that children rarely use the Internet in an unsafe way, that is, they rarely go to sites with dangerous content and rarely leave their data on sites, download harmful programs from them. At the same time, in 2020, Unicef ​​reported that due to the lockdown and the transition to distance learning, the risks of dangerous content for children have increased, and they need to be protected.

Little mobility

The more children spend on computers and smartphones, the less they move. This is reported by the American Association of Pediatricians and Psychiatrists and considers it one of the main risks for the development of children. From swaddle wrap parents set out to protect their children.  They grow quickly and it’s not long before they are using computers or tablets. Movement is important for development, for example, WHO considers time spent at the computer as harmful as time spent in a stroller or crib for children under four years of age. In addition, it is the movement in the fresh air that reduces the risks associated with eye diseases.

Game addiction

By gambling addiction, you need to understand that the child not only spends a lot of time playing games, but does not see the benefit and pleasure in other activities. It just doesn’t matter how much time you play. A longitudinal study of 11,000 British schoolchildren concluded that there was no difference in behavior between children playing for one hour and three hours.

But if teenagers sit at games longer, then this affects health first of all. Indian University research says that most teenagers who play computer games have high heart rate and blood pressure due to too much anxiety and stress.

The computer helps in learning, socialization and self-control

Emotional well-being

Researchers at Oxford University found that children who play computer games for one to three hours a day have fewer emotional problems and are more satisfied with life than those who do not play the computer and than those who play it constantly. Apparently, they are able to show some of the negative emotions in the game and get rid of them. At the same time, those who play a lot, apparently, are more tired and do not feel so good.

Self control

In the same study, it turned out that children who play from one to three hours a day experience fewer problems with self-control and less prone to becoming addicted to their mobile phone.  They are also less likely to have problems with hyperactivity.

Help learning

A study by the British National Literacy Foundation found that children between the ages of three and five enjoy e-books more than regular ones. Apparently, this is due to the fact that it is easier for children to interact with e-books.

Cognitive psychologist Heather Kirkorian confirms these data and says that there is nothing harmful for children in the very use of computers and e-books. If children play educational games, learn letters and numbers, it only benefits them.

True, there is a feeling that this only works for preschoolers and younger students. Researchers debate whether there is a difference in academic performance between those who use computers and play games and those who do not. In 2013, economists Farley and Robinson did not find this difference, but in a survey study, specialists from the University of California found it.

Social ties are bigger and stronger

According to the same study by Farley and Robinson, having access to computers helps kids build social connections, and not just online. They had more social connections, not only virtual, but also real.  Still, parents struggle with how early they should allow their kids to use social media.

According to preliminary results, children who accidentally received a free computer regularly interacted with more friends than students without computers. They also spent more time interacting with these friends in person. And there was no tangible difference in cyberbullying experience.

Researchers who have studied preschoolers who use and do not use computers have come up with similar results. The former showed more social skills and fewer behavior problems.

Helps develop critical thinking

Researchers from Redbud University have shown that role-playing and strategy games help develop critical thinking and develop reflection. That is, the child learns to ask the right questions, to separate the important from the unimportant – and shooters and other action games do not affect these skills in any way. But, of course, games cannot be the only source of development of critical thinking.

How To Help Your Child Do Well in Elementary School

How To Help Your Child Do Well in Elementary School

As parents, we want only the best for our children. If you’re looking for how to help your child do well in elementary school, you’re in the right place. We’ve collected a variety of tips and tricks to help your child excel in elementary school below. To start learning how to support your child, start reading!

Become Involved at School

If your schedule allows, it’s best to be involved in your child’s education. There are many ways to support your local school district. Consider joining the PTO to stay updated with the latest information affecting students.

Another option is chaperoning on school field trips for your child’s class. What can be better than creating fun memories that will last a lifetime?

Tutoring your child and other students is another avenue you may want to pursue. This approach lets you understand your child’s studies and how best to help them.

Encourage Habits That Promote Learning

One way to help your child do well in elementary school is by encouraging habits that promote learning. You can try games that develop helpful skills for the classroom, such as math, spelling, and reading. Many apps promote education, including:

  • HOMER
  • Endless Alphabet
  • Prodigy

Alternatively, you can take an active approach to more traditional means of learning. For example, to encourage your elementary student with reading, you can ask your child to clap when they know the meaning of a word. This game will help them become a better listener, which will help them with their overall comprehension skills.

Start the Day Right

Starting each morning before school on a positive note will help set your child up for a good day. Begin by waking them up with an early, nutritious breakfast before school. Healthy foods will help them pay better attention in the classroom.

Ensure you get your child to school on time so that you can set them up with good habits. If they take the bus, help them get to the stop with time to spare so they don’t have rush. Pay attention to the clock if you drive your child, and always leave early. You want them to they arrive before the first bell rings.

Set Up a Good Bedtime Routine

Sleep is an important part of functioning well, so it’s no surprise that our children need to get their hours. Medical professionals recommend that students in elementary school get around 9-12 hours each night. Without getting enough sleep, your child is bound to feel irritable and less motivated for school in the morning.

To help set them up with some healthy habits, try implementing the following activities in your routine:

  • A bath shortly before bedtime
  • Brushing teeth
  • Using the restroom
  • Reading a bedtime story
  • A goodnight kiss

When it’s time for bed, it’s best to keep children away from screens. Also, avoid sugary foods or drinks that might keep them up longer. Staying consistent with your child’s bedtime routine will help them develop healthy habits they can carry into adulthood.

You play a crucial role in helping your child’s success. Try your best to place emphasis on education by getting involved in school events and field trips. Structure your weekdays with plenty of fun learning opportunities. Finish days right by establishing a bedtime routine that lets your child recharge.

How to Protect Your Photos

How to Protect Your Photos

Photos hold sentimental value and memories, and losing them can be devastating. The loss can happen due to device failure, accidentally deleting the files, natural disasters, technical malfunctions, and even leaving a social media like Facebook or Instagram.

Fortunately, with technology, you can now protect your pictures by making copies of them so that when one gets lost or damaged, you can always recover it. Below are ways to protect your photos from loss or damage so you can recover them on demand and learn to better manage your images.

1. Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is one of the most reliable digital ways to store and protect your photos. Thanks to technology, you can now access your photos and videos online, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose between the various cloud service options, including Google Photos, DropBox, and iCloud.

Google Photos mobile app is your best option as it offers free storage and backs up your photos at high resolution. You also get access to unlimited storage. Once you back up your pictures, you can free up storage space on your device by removing the already backup media. Check out cloud services’ various offerings and pricing and select the one that suits you the most.

2. Local Backup

If you are in a place without internet connectivity, it can be challenging to access and retrieve your pictures from the cloud. Local backup means you don’t have to use the internet to access or retrieve your pictures and photos. It uses local storage options such as flash drives, discs, hard drives, tapes, and external hard drives to store your files. You can then keep the device anywhere you deem safe. Also, you will always know where your photos are, whether in your safe or your friend’s house.

Although using local backup storage options to store your pictures is inexpensive, you must be careful about who has access to it. It is also vulnerable to damage and natural disasters, which requires extra care when choosing how to keep the storage devices. Since it can be hard to remember to back up your photos, automate the process with the help of software to avoid forgetting.

3. Printed Albums

Like most people, you probably do not fancy the idea of printing out your pictures into physical copies. However, it is an excellent way to protect your photos from loss due to hacking, deletion, or hardware problems that can affect your storage devices. Printing out the pictures and compiling them into a photo album allows you to display your most treasured memories.

You can print the photos at home with a printer or take them to a printing shop for the best results. Only choose your best pictures if you go this route, as printing your entire collection can quickly become expensive. Since printed photos can easily become damaged if not handled carefully, below are tips to ensure their safety:

  • Protect them from sunlight, humidity, and extreme temperatures
  • Avoid touching your photos with dirt and oil
  • Consider sealing your printed photos
  • Choose high-quality printing services that use quality ink and printing material.
  • Keep the photo prints in a box or frame

Don’t forget to backup your pictures before printing in case your house suffers a disaster like a flood or fire.

When protecting your photos, turning to technologies like the cloud, local storage devices, and external hard drives can help you keep them safe. By choosing the right and most secure options, you can easily manage your photos in storage and access them at any time.

Learn how to share old family photos safely.

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