PhonepayPlus has released a report warning parents about children’s smartphone usage following a 300 per cent increase in complaints about bad apps to the regulator. With 72 per cent of parents paying their children’s smartphone bills, they need to be aware of hidden charges and bad practice so they don’t end up paying hefty charges, the report said.
Malware in rogue apps that charge the user without consent, as well as premium rate services promoted and accessed via social media sites like Facebook, are highlighted as problem areas. The report found that 66 per cent of 11-16 year-olds own a smartphone. 63 per cent have downloaded a free app, with 31 per cent downloading paid for apps.
“Connected devices will define the age in which today’s children live and we are determined to ensure that they can receive the benefits while being protected from the risks," Paul Whiteing, chief executive of PhonepayPlus.
PhonepayPlus can take action against these kinds of companies and is working with Facebook to ensure that rogue promotions are not allowed. The Children as Connected Consumers report, with steps that parents can take, is available here.