Parental controls for smartphones protect personal information

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

kvue.com

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

SEATTLE -- Smartphones and tablets are popular with kids and parents. But some parents worry about keeping their personal information safe. Experts say there are ways to “kid-proof” your mobile devices.

“A lot of times when we’re doing errands he likes to play with my Android in the car,” said parent Betty Hall.

Hall's four kids love playing with mom and dad's tablets and cell phones. Not only is she concerned about how much time they spend on mobile devices, her child also accidentally bought games that charged her phone an extra $60.

"When they spend too much time on the iPad they fight with each other more. They get so over stimulated that that's all they can see and they need to have that break to step back," said Hall.

AT&T showed KVUE's sister station KING a free feature on Window's 8 phones called "Kid's Corner." Android has a similar free option called “Sandbox Kid’s Corner.”

These options allow parents to select which games, music, videos and apps their child can see. Kids can only play with these features and won't have access to a parent’s cell phone information like phone numbers, emails and texting.

“The good news is there are tools that parents can use to manage the mobile experience for their kids. So that you can block what purchase they make what time of day and how much," said Andy Colley, an AT&T spokesperson.

Colley says AT&T also offers a free service called "Purchase Blocker." Parents activate this service so their kids can't accidentally buy games or apps on their parents' cell phones.

Colley says no matter what type of phone you own, check with your wireless provider about free and paid parental controls.

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