Advice for young people and parents
A conversation with your child now could save you from a shock the next time you open your phone bill. What to look out for:
For children under the age of 7:
Although some games and apps are free for download, they may offer your child in-app purchases for acquiring game enhancements or to move to the next level. Here is a children’s story about a boy called Tommy Tip-Tap that explains the issues.
For young people aged over 7:
Some games and apps are free to start with, but later on they might offer your child in-app purchases - charges to buy virtual items or upgrade to the next level – that your child may accept without realising that they are spending real money.
Competitions and quizzes, whether online or in print, might ask for a call or text to a phone-paid service number to enter and win a prize. Charity donations or voting through call or text for your TV show contestants is often charged through your mobile phone bill or Pay As You Go credit.
To prevent ‘bill shock’, when installing apps make sure you read the permissions for in-app purchases and the reviews others have written about the app. Also, it's always best to download apps from the main app stores.
No matter how good a prize looks, always read the small print to know exactly the charges involved before entering a competition, a quiz, making a donation or voting in TV contests.
If you let your child use your mobile device take care that they don’t open other apps by mistake and spend real money.
We’ve created PhoneBrain, a website for children explaining how phone-paid services work, top tips to avoid ‘bill shock’ and other advice for young people and parents.
Up for a challenge? Take PhoneBrain's interactive quiz to see if you are smarter than your smartphone.
Get Safe Online, a public / private sector partnership supported by HM Government, have a very useful piece of advice on online gaming to keep a child's online gaming safe.
Internet Advertising Bureau UK created a funny video to help kids and parents to get smart about the ads they see online, enjoy!