Blog topic: Protect Kids Online

Playing with Fire

Ready for a discussion that’s likely to upset the whole family? First, explain these concepts to your four-year-old: online shopping accounts that are linked to your credit card, unlimited in-app charges, and store policies that state all sales final. Then, explain how the virtual coins your child uses in a game can cost real money charged instantly to your account. Sounds like fun, right?

The experience has been anything but fun for parents whose children racked up hundreds of dollars playing “free” games on the Kindle Fire.

kids playing on tablet

Librarians gather in Vegas, and the FTC is there

Next week, the city known for high-rolling gamblers, world famous entertainers, and The Mob Museum will host another fascinating and diverse group of people – librarians. Librarians serving students, scientists, historians, the military and communities across the country will be at the American Library Association’s 2014 Annual Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Snap. Chat. Delete?

Come on, admit it: Ever since you saw Mission: Impossible, you’ve wished you could send messages that self-destruct. Then Snapchat came along, and suddenly the impossible seemed easy. Adding a twist to photo- and video-sharing, Snapchat allows users to snap a picture, send it to a friend, and choose how long it lasts, from 1 to 10 seconds after it has been viewed. Then, poof. It disappears. Or does it?

Find Friends

Happy Mother’s Day from the FTC

Last Mother’s Day, my kids “helped” serve me breakfast in bed. No sooner had the word “surprise” left their lips than they were scrambling onto the bed to see what they could eat. After all, moms are always going on about sharing, right?

Why not show off some of your own sharing skills this Mother’s Day when you talk to the kids in your life? Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online is a free guide from the FTC that has some important information and terrific tips to share with your kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews.

flowers

Apple refunds

Thanks to a settlement with the FTC, Apple is refunding more than $32 million to people for in-app charges made by kids without their parent’s permission. Apple also had to change its billing practices to make sure it now gets express, informed consent from people before charging them for in-app purchases.

Reset a resolution for Safer Internet Day

It’s been 42 days since New Year’s. Have you broken any resolutions? Safer Internet Day is the perfect day for a “replacement” resolution.

The New Net Cetera: Hot off the Press

This just in: The revision of the FTC’s free guide, Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online, is hot off the press. The booklet has updated tips for parents, teachers, and other adults to use when talking with kids about online safety and digital citizenship.

Net Cetera booklet

What Are You Doing on Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is just around the corner — January 28. What a good time to do something about protecting your personal information, online and off.

Data Privacy Day Logo

An In-App Surprise: How to Lose Hundreds in 15 Minutes

Quick: name a way your kids could rack up hundreds of dollars in charges in under 15 minutes without you being the wiser.

One answer: through an app on your iPhone or other Apple device.

Today, the FTC announced that it has reached a settlement with Apple, resolving allegations that the company didn’t get parental consent for many of the charges racked up by their children in kids’ games.

North of the Border, Up Canada Way

North of the border, it’s Media Literacy Week. This year’s theme is “What’s Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages” – which, of course, is a theme that makes sense in the US, too.

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