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Tip of the Month

Consider turning off in-app purchases on your phone and other devices.

If you are like me, from time-to-time you might hand your phone over to your child or grandchild to play with.  Did you know, depending on your settings- they may be one-click away from making a purchase on your phone?

Many games and apps try to stimulate the player just enough and then demand the user pay to continue.  Not even adults are entirely immune to this form of manipulation.  It's important to talk to your kids about how these games try to manipulate them (or to understand just how easy it is for them to make a purchase without even knowing it).

This month is Consumer Protection Awareness Month.  I work with customers frequently who have either had fraud on their account, or charges they are not aware of (i.e. in-app charges). This link shows you how to turn off in-app purchases depending on device type.

We are giving away a free guide, Net Cetera - Chatting with kids about being online.  The booklet is printed by the FTC and has some great tips to help parents.  Stop by any of our locations and grab one.  Here are a few other tips offered in the booklet:

  • Consider a browser for children.  These browsers filter words or images you don't want your kids to see.
  • Limiting time.  Most devices also allow you to limit the amount of time spent on an app.
  • Do you want something beyond built-in parental controls?  Consider using a special app to monitor online activity.
Also, don't forget to use our mobile app, online banking and your monthly statement to review debits to your account frequently.  I've dealt with customers who have had hundreds of dollars purchased on their phone (by a child) because it took so long to see the charges were occurring.