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Safer Internet Centre

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Apps - all you need to know

Ever wondered if all apps are ok to download or what in-app purchasing is?  

Here’s some top tips and advice to make sure you know what you’re downloading on your mobile or tablet.

So before you click that download button here’s what to check:

  1. Make sure you check what the app really does, read the reviews and ratings.
  2. Check the age ratings and content descriptions on apps before you download them, to make sure the app is age appropriate.
  3. Make sure you are downloading an app from a reputable site such as Apple's App Store, Google Play and BlackBerry App world
  4. Before you download always check the list of ‘app permissions’ and be sure to check the app settings to control what you share.  

What is in-app purchasing?

While many apps are free, sometimes you may also decide to pay for apps, which commonly cost around 99p to £2.99, (though some can cost more). In-app purchases are not always obvious; you may have downloaded a free game app, but then to upgrade to the next level you are asked to make an “in-app purchase”. By doing this you will be asked to pay an additional sum of money, we have heard stories where young people have got into difficultly and have ended up running up huge bills!

If you are worried you will be tempted to buy things in app then why not turn off in-app purchases? On some smartphones it is possible to block in-app purchases and downloading apps by going into your phone settings.

Learn more about in-app purchasing

Watch the three finalists films in the PhoneBrain category of the Childnet Film Competition 2015 to learn about in-app purchases and how to avoid running up large bills on mobiles: