Kid-proofing your digital budget - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Kid-proofing your digital budget

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It happens in most families.  You realize somehow your kids were able to download things from the internet but the catch is the download had a price and it was connected to your debit or credit card.  

Recently, parents found out the hard way that "free" games are not always "free" and racked up tens, hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars in debt for "free"games.  

In some cases kids can rack up charges so high, that parents have lodged complaints with the FTC.  In a recent case, the FTC is discussing the issues with Amazon's Kindle Fire.  But this isn't the first time we have heard that parents are struggling with this issue and it could happen on really any platform.  WBTV cyber expert Theresa Payton shares her advice below for having fun without breaking the family budget:

This can happen on almost any online platform - app stores across phones, tablets, and more

1.  Talk with your kids about any types of downloads - free or not - to make sure they don't accidentally download viruses or bust your bank account

2.  Tie your account to gift cards, which are pre paid, vs. debit or credit cards...when the money runs out, you can review your budget with the kids and then reload the gift card

3.  If you think you are a victim of unsound app purchasing practices, report the online store or app to the FTC

4.  Read the policy and privacy settings - set passwords.  Teach your kids to write down on a notepad when they do purchase the "in game" or "in app" add ons so they keep a log

You can file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.  

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