Ofcom have today launched a new guide to help consumers use apps safely and securely on mobile phones.
The guide has been designed to support those using apps to play games, send messages, check the news, do internet banking and use maps and navigation services. For parents the guide is particularly useful as it offers guidance about how to check that children are using apps safely and securely.
Some apps contain content that may be inappropriate for young people, for example of a sexual or violent nature. Ofcom’s guide provides a content rating system to help judge whether apps are appropriate for children.
Many apps, both free and paid for, offer optional extras at a cost. These are known as in-app purchases. In-app purchasing can be of particular concern to parents because children using the mobile device may run up high charges on an account without their parents’ knowledge. Ofcom’s guide provides information about how to control and disable in-app purchasing.
The full guide can be viewed and downloaded from the Ofcom website.
The guide has been produced by Ofcom in association with the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Competition and Markets Authority, PhonepayPlus and the Financial Conduct Authority.