Help kids be app smart

The pandemic has driven millions of us online for a larger part of our day than ever before, including our children. Mobile devices are our gateway to the world, and provide opportunities to entertain, learn, save time, check in with friends but can also to mislead, trick and cause harm.

Kids can easily get into trouble simply because they’re curious, love gaming, or are using age-inappropriate apps. They can quickly get into costly and unsafe situations they’re not equipped to handle. 

Apps kids use often collect and share their information, let them spend money online, advertise to them and link to social media. The Federal Trade Commission recommends a bit of background research before downloading apps and you can start here.

But as many of our kids are more tech-savvy than parents, it’s best to be honest with your kids about your concerns, and listen to their response. If you gain their cooperation in managing their online presence, the task will be much easier. PC Magazine suggests these commonsense approaches in addressing screen and app usage with your children. 

Mobile device restrictions

For younger children, you may be able to restrict the apps and websites they can access, schedule downtime when the device cannot be used, set time limits for specific apps, communication limits and more.  These videos show you how to set up restrictions for iPhone and iPads, or for Android devices.  

Parental control apps

If you decide you need to monitor your children’s online usage, options are available. Most will only monitor mobile devices, nor laptops or desktop computers. PC Magazine reviews their 8 Top Picks that allow you to control, track and manage your kid’s activity. Some allow you to filter website, block apps and more. 

NOTE: Marin County Credit Union cannot endorse or the information shared in the links and this is presented as informational only.