Clicking OK and downloading apps (without much thought) has become second nature to most kids (and some adults). Is anything really free, including that “free” app your child just has to have? Here are a few questions you should ask before your kids download an app.
WHY THIS APP
Is the app appropriate for the age and maturity level of your child? Just because your child tells you all of their friends are using the app, that is not a good enough reason for your child to use it as well. Before downloading any app think about cost, privacy, and safety.
WHO CREATED THE APP
Is the app developer credible and not out to steal information from you? Does the app have a contact name, website or email address that actually replies to your questions? If not, you may want to keep looking at other apps.
WHAT DO OTHERS THINK
Check out reviews from people actually using the app and see how many complaints there are.
WHAT DOES THE APP WANT FROM YOU
Nothing is free. As the free app mantra goes: “If the app is free, you are the product.” Many apps ask for access to your contacts, your phone number, calendar, or location. Take your time and make sure you are aware of each permission the app is asking for. Please take 2 minutes and look at the video from the Privacy Project. The video does a very good job of explaining the privacy problem with apps.
Be safe. Be careful. Be suspicious.
John L. Jones