If we use our special online superpower of Reasoning (one of the 4Rs of online safety) we can examine if those free games and apps are really free or if there is a catch? The questions we need to ask are: Why is if free? And, what do they want from us? The saying ‘it is too good to be true’ especially works in the online space.
Yes, there is always a catch:
- You frequently give up your right to privacy handing over all your personal details, mobile number, location and the access for others to examine of your internet activity or contact lists;
- Free upfront use is often used to hook you in which plays on your emotions to pay for special upgrades, loot boxes or exclusive content once you start playing. i.e. unlock an exclusive skin only available for battlenoble pass holders! Don’t get hooked as there will always be another exclusive new upgrade, loot box, exclusive content.
- Some just want to try to sell you products through advertising that comes from clicking on links in the game.
How do you avoid a payment trap? Here are a few easy steps for you and you will show how responsible you are online!
- Turn off in app and game purchases;
- Remove connected bank accounts;
- Never give out anybanking details ever;
- Avoid pop-ups or apps that give you pop ups;
- Only go to sites which are secure (reduce your risk)
- Look for https:// in the top browser bar e.g.
- Your parent or carer if you wish to buy something.
- Your parent or carer if you are unsure about games, sites or products online.
- Ask your parents to turn on ‘approval’ for purchasing. That way you won’t get into trouble and this will help you earn trust. You can explain and show them that you know BIRDS how to”
- Don’t feed the trolls
- Share it: Tell you parents when you will talk to them about things online
First appeared in Anglican Cyber Tuesdays 25/02/2020.
Cover image from Cyberbullying.Org Inspirational Images