Not Every App is Child Friendly, Find Out Which Ones Are

BY: - 27 Dec '12 | Parenting

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It’s pretty easy to find an app for kids with high ratings and download it with the tap of a finger. Finding out how safe your child is using it, however, takes a little more work. A recent article points out the confusion behind app categories and the possible threats to you and your child’s privacy.

Though apps are rated by age level, providers such as Apple, Android and Windows each have their own system of categorizing. While Apple ages range from 4+ to 17+, Google Play rates apps by Everyone to High Maturity and Windows follows the system used to rate video games from Everyone to Adult Only. This lack of consistency can easily cause confusion between platforms and mediums.

“Unifying this at one level makes a lot of sense,” said Scott Weiner, an app developer in Mansfield, Mass. “The problem is, right now it’s still an immature market, without a clear set of leaders in the industry. As a parent and a developer, I’d rather make it the parent’s choice and make it easy for them to see the issues.”

While most developers are upfront concerning their policies and the type of information they collect, many are not. A 2012 study of 400 random apps using the keyword “kids” found that only 20-percent disclosed information concerning privacy practices, 58-percent contained advertising with only 15-percent of them indicating the use of ads and 3-percent transmitted the user’s geolocation.

One way parents can combat this is by using a site called Secure Me, which indicates what kind of information an app might post on social media, personal information it requests, if it accesses data while a user is offline and whether it has access or posts information to friends. This information can also be found on the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) site by typing in the name of the app in question.

Read the full article on the Newsday website.

 

BMWK–  How do you determine which apps are safe for your kids to use? Have you found a particular developer to be overall good for kids and others that are not?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.

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Good or Bad: Philadelphia High Schools Install Condom Dispensers

BY: - 27 Dec '12 | Home

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Photo Credit: Bill Davenport

Sexual education is not new to high school campuses. From curriculum in class involving sexual health, to screenings for sexual transmitted diseases, high school students are being exposed to the consequences of having unprotected sex. In September, we learned at the pilot program at several New York public schools, in which they gave the morning after pill to students in schools with high teenage pregnancy rates. Now Philadelphia schools are taking action to the STD “epidemic” among their high school students, by installing condom dispensers on 22 school campuses.

Over the past 5 years, 5% of the 130,000 students who attend Philadelphia public schools have contracted an STD, including HIV. It’s also been reported that in Philadelphia, teens make up 25% of new HIV infections. This has alarmed many parents and education officials, who decided that providing better access to contraceptives to students as young as 14. Parents were notified of the program in October, and were able to opt their child out of accessing the machines.

While Philly isn’t the first city to make condoms available, it is in a small percentage of schools who distribute them in “vending machines”. Many parents feel as though providing prophylactics encourages teen sex, while other adults believe students are going to engage in sex regardless of if protection is easily accessible or not.

“Discussion about whether or not they should be sexually active is an appropriate discussion, but if they are, then we need to make sure they’re engaged in safe sexual practices,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

 

BMWK – What are your thoughts?  Is this a good idea or does it encourage kids to have sex before they are ready?

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

 

 

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Briana Ford wrote 143 articles on this blog.

Briana is a writer, influencer, and Shero who's California bred and Texas fed. When she's not explaining the world of blogging and social media to entrepreneurs and small business owners, you can find her sharing memes, gifs, and her life lessons on her blog.

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