by Barry Crutchfield (ToxicApps.com)
InspecSunday is Today!
I typically sit down Sunday mornings and spend some one-on-one time with my children’s devices. In addition to my random spot-checks from time to time, I like to perform thorough inspections on a weekly basis.
My intention is NOT to catch them doing something prohibited, but rather to ensure their safety. My family is all iOS and we use family share, so the possibility of them downloading a toxic app is very low since one parent must approve ALL apps before being downloaded on any of our children’s devices.
During weekly inspections I primarily focus on 4 things:
- iOS Privacy Settings
- Photo Album
- Solicitations / Invitations
- App Privacy Settings
Under the iOS Privacy Settings I like to regularly check all the apps under the Location Services, Photos and Camera. Even though I approve all apps coming in, I still like to look for suspicious apps that may have slipped through the net. If you have a question about an app and subscribe to toxic apps.com you can look the app up and make a better decision based on facts.
By opening the Photo Album, I can see what my child is taking pictures of. Sure, he can delete stuff he doesn’t want me to see beforehand, but on more than one occasion I have been able to use his photo choices as a coaching opportunity.
Next, I open the most used social media apps such as Instagram to see who is following, or want to follow, my child. I currently have an agreement that my son’s social media accounts are always PRIVATE, and that he cannot accept follower requests unless he personally knows the person. For people he does not know, he has to get my permission first (or not allow that person to follow).
Today’s inspection turned up this request to follow from the lovely Anna Williams, who is 23 years old, loves sex and hot guys and has her own XXX web address as stated in her Instagram bio:
Obviously I do not want my minor son to be followed by “Anna”, or the robot behind this account, so I decided to block this “person.” But before I did, I reviewed this request with my son to coach him on social media scams with a side of sexed!
To block “Anna,” I simply selected the three dots in the top right corner (…) and selected Block User:
In Instagram you are able to block a user BEFORE they follow you. After you select Block User, you will see:
Select: Yes, I’m Sure. Next you will get a message stating that the user is blocked. From here, you select Dismiss and the user can no longer request to follow or follow you.
Pick a day to spend some time to go through your child’s device on a regular basis. It’s not spying, it’s called being the best cyber parent in today’s digital world!
My name is Barry Crutchfield and I live in Austin Texas with my wife, three boys and a dog. I am cofounder of Toxic Apps LLC, a company dedicated to keeping children safe in today’s digital world. For more information please visit http://www.toxixapps.com
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The descriptions of and warnings related to the various Apps discussed herein are based on opinions of Toxic Apps, LLC, and have been developed in a good-faith effort to educate parents of minors and to define risks for children. Others may have wholly different opinions.