Recent Ofcom statistics highlighted that four in ten children aged 5-15 have a mobile phone of some kind and three in ten children aged 5-15 have a smartphone. Mobile phone downloads and apps are very popular among young people and are easily available.
There have been many cases in the news over the past year reporting high charges incurred due to in-app purchasing. While a lot of popular apps are free to download, this does not mean they won't charge you later on, and many games are free up to a point, before then asking for a payment in order to continue onto the next level or to access additional features.
There are also a number of services available that allow users to sign up via their mobile phone number to download ringtones, music, video and other content. These are very popular amongst young people, but in signing up for a service, it is possible to inadvertently sign up for a subscription and rather than just paying one charge for access to new content, they could be charged repeatedly.
Childnet has worked with PhonepayPlus, the premium rate regulator to develop two new hot topics for parents about apps and premium rate services including tips for how to avoid extra charges as well as advice for teenagers on apps and premium rate services.
Source: UK Safer Internet Centre Newsletter. To subscribe scroll to the bottom of the homepage UK - Safer Internet Centre
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