The danger of games with microtransactions for children
Leave a child alone with a smartphone It is never a good idea. Parents must ensure the proper use of these devices, not only because of the dangers that lurk on the Internet, but because many other problems related to gaming and leisure applications may occur.
Some of the games that exist in the world market mobile in the first instance they are free. However, with small microtransactions they give advantage to users. A payment system that, while based on small amounts, can end more severely as in the case of the British child who recently spent about 6,000 pounds in these types of applications.
Lack of vigilance
Cases like the one of the mentioned child that gathers the BBC have a common characteristic: the lack of vigilance of the use that the smallest make of their smartphones. Keep in mind that these devices are not as simple as they may seem a priori and can trigger in serious situations. Even if you allow a child to manipulate a smartphone, you have to know what you are doing.
It never hurts to talk to the child about what he is seeing at that moment or if he is playing something, let him know the limits. At this point, it is essential to prevent children from accessing this type of applications that allow microtransactions, not at least until they have notion of what it means to give these buttons and they are clear about the concept of money.
In the same way, parents have to disassociate their credit accounts of their profiles. To always require a confirmation by key before any payment is made, either to perform a microtransaction or to acquire any material such as audiobooks, applications or any other product that requires a certain amount of money.
Educate for responsible use
Leaving a smartphone to a child is a great responsibility for the possibilities offered by these devices. We must transmit the critical spirit necessary for the use of a smartphone:
1. Is its use really necessary? It is always advisable to think if the activity that the child plans to do with the smartphone can not be done in any other way. For example, look for information that is easily found in an encyclopedia or on the computer.
2. Smartphone according to needs. There are times when the need for a smartphone is related to a child's journey. In these cases, this situation is enough with a terminal that allows receiving calls, there does not have to be an Internet connection.
3. At specific times. You should never use the smartphone as a leisure tool but as a tool for specific situations.
4. Consequences. If there is any inappropriate use of the smartphone, the child should know that the first consequence will be the withdrawal of the same and the impossibility of its use for some time.
5. It establishes norms to educate its use. Our children are digital natives, but as they grow up, these norms change, because they acquire independence and freedom in their actions.
6. Decide on a equal age for all children in which you can have your mobile. Of course, we must wait for the Kings or the birthday, not give it away without any justification. Thus, when the son in his "profession" asks to insist that he "needs" the mobile phone, we will remind him that the established age in our family has not reached and we will settle the discussion without displeasure.