Be careful with holiday-themed apps, especially ones for children

Action Line

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mobile app stores will list tons of holiday-themed apps for your children this time of year.

But are they safe?

With the help of technology, your children can now video chat with Santa or his elves.

But you might want to check twice before you allow your kids to play freely on those apps.

“You really want to make sure that you understand the privacy policy of the app,” said Roseann Freitas, BBB Hawaii marketplace manager. “What information are they gathering from your child, how are they using this information and where is this information being stored?”

Another thing to be aware of is with free apps comes pop up ads.

“Be careful of the ads that do pop up because they trick the kids into clicking on them because they can get freebies if they click on it or they’ll get rewards for the game they’re playing and you need to be watching it and make sure those parental restrictions are set up.”

Adult supervision is suggested at all times when kids are exploring these apps.

Responsible apps will provide a summary of what information will be stored before a parent downloads an app.

“Online services directed to children may not collect maintain or share a photograph video or voice recordings of a child without getting the parents or guardians permission first,” said Freitas.

“If you suspect misuse of your child’s information you can always file a complaint.”

“You can go to the children’s advertising review unit, C-A-R-U, you can go online there and you can file a complaint for any misuse of your child’s information,” Freitas added.

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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