There are children and teenagers who spend a lot of time on TikTok spend. They watch short videos from others or produce their own TikToks. What exactly they look at there and publish themselves, many parents do not know and worry – also about the fact that their child can come into contact with strangers .
In response to criticism, TikTok introduced the “accompanied mode” for parental control back in 2020, which was revised again in 2023. This allows you, as the parent or guardian, to control how long the app can be used, whether private messages can be sent and received, and what content is displayed on the “For You” page. Click here for a detailed presentation of the app.
It’s understandable that you, as a parent, are concerned when your child is on social media platforms. Therefore, before using such apps, you should calmly talk to your child about what they are interested in. Explain your concerns to him and make him understand what risks there are in using it. If you are okay with your child using TikTok, ask regularly and stay interested. Let them show you what your child is doing there.
Often children are already interested in the app beforehand. If your child wants to use TikTok, consider whether they might watch TikTok videos without their own account first. Because this is possible via a browser!
If your child is allowed to create a TikTok account with your permission and you choose to use the Accompanied Mode set it up as follows:
TikTok must be installed on your child’s smartphone and on your own device. You can find the Accompanied Mode in the “Digital Wellbeing” settings under “Privacy and Settings”. On the parent’s device, clicking on it opens a QR code that is scanned with your child’s smartphone. By doing so, your child agrees that you, as the parent, may control its use. IMPORTANT: Talk to your child beforehand about the functions in accompanied mode and consider together what should be switched on and to what extent:
TikTok would like to establish a “TikTok Youth Advisory Board” during 2023 to engage with the community itself on how to further develop the app.
Note that there are other setting options in TikTok outside of Accompanied Modethat should definitely be enabled. For example, make sure the account is set to private so that your child’s videos can’t be seen by strangers. For users between the ages of 13 and 15, TikTok makes this setting automatically – but you should definitely talk to your child about what the advantage is and why they should leave it that way or set it that way themselves from 16.
As a parent, you cannot track what content is being viewed. They also cannot read messages or comments, so your child’s privacy is preserved as much as possible. If you trust your child and he or she is already able to use media consciously and safely, it is certainly nicer to be able to do without this control option. Regularly discuss with your child whether the settings still fit as they are, or whether you can change certain settings.
“Dad, how do you spell “sister”?” – many children around preschool age are inquisitive when it comes to learning to write. The first attempts with a piece of paper and pen can sometimes be frustrating. It takes a bit of practice until all the letters are clearly recognizable and your child finds his or her own print writing. The learning app I write in block letters want to help with this.
I write in print is a learning app for children to learn how to write and read print. There are five different categories. The simplest category is about tracing simple symbols. Basically, in each category, your child will be shown how to move their finger. If it has done its task well, it is rewarded with small funny animations that it can influence a little itself. The next categories are similar in structure and include the alphabet in upper and lower case letters and the numbers from zero to nine. Different fonts are available, for example Germany (North), Germany (Bavaria) or German Switzerland.
In addition, your child is always told which letter or number is currently visible via audio playback. The last category then involves writing whole words. This is where the special functions of I write in print come into their own, because you can configure many things yourself in the app. You can add as many words as you like to the already given words. You can also record the corresponding audio playbacks yourself. Also, the app supports different user accounts, so multiple children can use the app at the same time. I write in print even saves all the children’s input – so you can see in reports what tasks your child does, how accurate they were and if there are any possible sources of error.
At the latest when your child comes into contact with older children, e.g. with older siblings who can already write, the desire arises in many to be able to handle pen and paper themselves. The learning app gives playful practice in writing and reading print, which the children often enjoy very much. The “5 star mode” with increasing difficulty motivates children to become better and better and to receive a star as a reward for each successful attempt.
The app is recommended for ages four and up, but writing and reading are actually taught in elementary school. Children who already have skills by then tend to be bored frequently in class. However, it is a good sign if your child is enthusiastic about learning and wants to learn to write.
The app developer L’Escapadou claims not to store user data outside the app. The app is ad-free and offers a variety of settings to adjust the learning app to the child’s learning progress. For example, the appearance, sounds, animations and speeds of the tasks can be customized. In the “5-star mode”, the difficulty level can be changed. A parental lock ensures that the child stays on task. The game time limit shortens the game with the animations per task to a few seconds or minutes. A PDF can be created from the tasks and printed out to practice writing with pen and paper as well.
If your inquisitive child already feels the desire to learn to read and write before starting school, you should be positive about it and support him or her. I write in print is a child-friendly program that introduces children to writing in a playful way. However, some parents tend to expect too much from their children too soon. Your child does not need to be able to read and write before school! After all, that’s what school is for.
When your child goes to school, the app can be a good companion to the lessons. Writing on the tablet or smartphone with your finger is fun for kids. At the latest in school, it must learn to write with a pen. If your child is advanced, use a tablet pen or create individual worksheets from the app so your child can practice with the writing device in parallel.
In any case, accompany your child during the first steps and be available for questions.
Sharing children’s photos online, chatting in Minecraft or setting up the first smartphone – in everyday family life with media, there are many points of contact with the topic of privacy. But what exactly does privacy mean? And what can parents do to adequately protect their child’s privacy on the Internet? That’s what this article is about.
When we talk about privacy, we mean the personal space in a person’s life. That’s the part that’s around us where we can do things privately. In the realm of privacy, we can live our lives the way we want without it being anyone else’s business.
While we protect ourselves from prying eyes at home with curtains, there are other things we need to watch out for in the digital world. Maintaining privacy on the Internet specifically means protecting personal information and activities online. This includes personal data such as name, age, address and other private details. This starts even before birth with the sharing of ultrasound pictures, continues with the use of baby monitor apps and ends with smart toys in the nursery. As soon as your child is consciously on the Internet, you should discuss the topic of privacy on the Internet with him or her and explain to your child how to handle private information and online activities prudently. Make it clear to your child that he or she should not share personal details with strangers. Educate your child about scamming online. Make them aware of how they can recognize subscription traps, fake sweepstakes and the like in order to prevent the criminal misuse of their own data.
By the time they move on to secondary school at the latest, many children receive their first smartphone of their own. Depending on which phone your child has (Apple or Android), there are ways to set certain settings for apps to protect privacy:
In today’s connected world, it is very important to protect your child’s privacy, especially when using social media platforms:
Solutions for technical youth media protection such as parental control programs or the accompanied mode on TikTok are one way to increase your child’s safety when using media. However, they do not replace your responsible role in media education. An open conversation between you as parents and your child about what they are experiencing online is very important to help them navigate the web safely and responsibly.
The Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) is the voluntary self-regulation body of the games industry. It is responsible for age rating reviews of digital games in Germany.
The USK is recognized as a competent self-regulator under both the German Federal Youth Protection Act and the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media. In the area of the German Youth Protection Act, state representatives issue the statutory age ratings at the end of a USK procedure on the recommendation of independent youth protection experts.
In addition, the USK assigns age ratings within the international IARC system (International Age Rating Coalition) for online games and apps. In addition, the USK supports companies from the games industry in complying with and further developing the protection of minors in the gaming sector, for example in the area of technical protection of minors, and is involved in the area of media education, among other things with initiatives such as the Elternguide.online.
The games applied for USK testing are played through completely by trained volunteer reviewers and then presented to a testing panel that is independent of the games industry. The review panel consists of four youth protection experts and one permanent representative of the supreme state youth authorities (OLJB). The youth protection experts come from academia, media education, church institutions and youth facilities, and have experience in working with media and with children and young people. After extensive discussion, the youth protection experts recommend an age rating. The OLJB Permanent Representative may adopt or appeal this age release. Subsequently, the USK receives the test result and communicates it to the applicants. If they also do not appeal, triggering a new review, the game will receive the legal age rating by the OLJB’s Permanent Representation to the USK.
In the online area, the USK assigns age ratings within the framework of the international system IARC (International Age Rating Coalition). This is an association of the various organizations responsible for age rating worldwide, such as ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) in the USA, PEGI (Pan European Game Information) in Europe, ClassInd (Classificação Indicativa) in Brazil, GRAC (Game Rating and Administration Committee) in South Korea, ACB (Australian Classification Board) in Australia and the USK in Germany. At IARC, online game and app providers go through a questionnaire on content relevant to youth protection. An age rating is then issued from the respective entries according to the specifications and criteria of the respective national self-regulation (for Germany, the USK). In all distribution platforms connected to this system, age ratings from the USK are thus available. Connected systems include the Google Playstore, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Store, Sony Playstation Store, and Oculus Store.
There are set criteria for the age rating of digital games. These guiding criteria are decided and adapted by the USK’s advisory board, which is made up of various social groups. The guiding criteria serve as a basis for review panels in assessing the risks of possible developmental impairment to children and adolescents when playing games that are not age-appropriate. They provide support in the decision-making process.
The focus is on the presumption of impact, i.e. the extent to which young people’s development could be impaired or even endangered. These include criteria such as the atmosphere in the game, violence or pressure to act. Since 2023, so-called “usage risks”, for example functions such as chats, in-game purchases or location sharing, have also been taken into account in the youth protection review and can have an influence on the age rating. More information about the USK’s guiding criteria can be found on the USK’s website.
The age rating symbols awarded include USK 0 (released without age restriction), USK 6, USK 12, USK 16 and USK 18 (no youth rating).
Since January 2023, the USK’s age rating labels have included additional information about the reasons for the age rating as well as existing online functions in the game. In this way, parents can see at a glance which reasons led to the age rating (for example, “comic book violence” or “pressure to act”) and which risks should be kept in mind when using media (for example, “chats”, “in-game purchases” or “location sharing”). The notices can be found on the back of the game packaging, on the corresponding online platforms and in the USK title database.
In principle, the state does not regulate with its age labels how and what media content parents make available to their children at home. However, parents should only give or allow their children to play games that have an appropriate age rating. However, the labels do not provide any information about the difficulty level of a game or its respective pedagogical suitability. An educational assessment on digital games is provided, for example, by the NRW Game Guide, which is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Three tips for parents from the USK:
Minecraft is a kind of Lego for the computer or tablet, where you can create your own world from virtual blocks with a lot of creativity and skill.
The game world in Minecraft consists mainly of cubes or blocks. These are always the same size, but is procedurally generated and thus looks different in each run. The world in Minecraft is made of different materials, for example, wood or earth. In different modes, these cubes are used differently:
In creative mode, players combine these cubes and build houses, models, or even working computers. In this way, they create their very own world, which they shape creatively and change constantly. This function is now even used by schools for learning. The materials used do not have to be collected, they are directly available to the players and can be used infinitely.
In survival mode, thanks to the tools, players can fight monsters and hide at night in the hut they built themselves. The big difference to the creative mode here is that the materials have to be collected by yourself and additionally a hunger bar and life bar have to be managed. Also, many of the items, such as chests, swords, doors, stoves, etc. must first be made. The level of difficulty can be adjusted so that there is something for every age group. This can be adjusted at any time in the game menu.
Minecraft can be played online with others, or offline alone. The current version of the game is 1.20.1.
Despite the simple graphics, which consist only of large pixels, Minecraft is very popular among children from about ten years old. Minecraft sets no limits to creativity. Players can create their very own virtual world and get excited about constructing landscapes and buildings and acquiring the raw materials they need. Playing with others especially challenges competition and strategy, but creating worlds together can also be a lot of fun and requires that you coordinate with each other.
Minecraft is released by the USK from the age of six. How well children cope with the game depends, among other things, on the game mode they choose: While Creative and Adventure modes are easy to handle, Survival and Hardcore modes are more about defense and survival. Here you have to overcome obstacles such as encountering monsters, which brings a certain tension.
Since the game doesn’t set its own limits, e.g. through different levels, it tempts you to play endlessly and lose yourself completely in the virtual world. Also, the control of the game can be difficult for inexperienced.
Minecraft offers in-app purchases, e.g. via the “Minecraft Marketplace”, the “Minecraft Marketplace”. This is a platform where gamers can buy skins, mini-games and other content. One popular offering is PvP maps, where players compete against each other in game worlds according to the “player vs. player” principle. Such paid elements are appealing to kids and teens because they enhance the gaming experience.
Some paid offers are unsuitable for younger children, for example, the “Scary Mods”, which makes the game environment more exciting with creepy creatures, gloomy environments, eerie sounds and events.
Minecraft belongs to Microsoft. Auf der Webseite gibt es die Datenschutzerklärung und Nutzungsbedingungen auf Deutsch. Data is processed and used for product improvement and may also be shared.
The game is designed to encourage creativity and problem-solving skills. In Sweden, it’s even on the curriculum. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as a parent:
Younger children should be accompanied while playing in the beginning and should rather use the creative mode or easier difficulty levels of the survival mode. For older children, the hardcore mode may come into question later.
As always with media use, keep an eye on how much time your child spends playing. Make sure to adhere to set media use times and discuss together as a family which modes your child is allowed to play. Make sure the content is age-appropriate and control what content your child is allowed to purchase and use. Some offers in the “marketplace” are not suitable for younger children.
Players can communicate with each other in Minecraft using the chat function. In the process, children are exposed to communication risks such as conflicts, cyberbullying, but also cybergrooming. Talk to your child about being respectful in chat, encourage them to block and report inappropriate messages. This way, your child can protect themselves from harassment. Explain to your child that he or she should not disclose personal information such as name and address in the chat.
Using the Parental Control feature of a Microsoft account, communication functions can be restricted to friends only or disabled completely. Access to in-game purchases can also be controlled via the control function.
The game was tested for accessibility as part of the Gaming without Borders project. In the areas of comprehension, control and hearing, Minecraft already does a lot right in terms of accessibility, according to the test results. The game is quite suitable for children and young people with impairments. However, some hurdles were identified in the “vision” area, making it difficult for people with visual impairments to use. However, Mojang as a developer studio is also interested and working to build accessibility.
There are many ways to do small media projects with kids. Especially uncomplicated are projects around photography. Because there is actually a camera in every family, whether in the smartphone or as its own device. Plus, you don’t have to depend on the Internet or a power outlet (when the battery is charged) to take photos. So some ideas can also be implemented quite easily outside! What kind of camera you use for a small photo project, whether photo camera, smartphone or tablet does not matter in most cases. You can get creative together with your child and try out what can be photographed besides selfies and vacation snapshots – with the photo camera on the go.
Anyone who takes photos themselves knows that the view through the camera lens is often a different one. When photographing, perspectives and proportions change completely. Go on a journey of discovery with your child. Macro photography, for example, is particularly well suited for this. That is, you get very close to objects. If available, you can also use the zoom of the camera to help you. Flowers, insects and other things look much bigger with it. This way, you can discover things together that you didn’t consider before. No less exciting is taking photos from a great distance or height. You can go in search of the best places to take pictures.
You may know this photo action from your vacation in Paris or Pisa. Photos are taken there that look as if the leaning tower is being propped up or the Eiffel Tower is being gently held between index finger and thumb.
The technique is called forced perspective. This allows you to make objects appear larger or smaller than they actually are by positioning yourself at a certain distance. This often results in funny photos that do not correspond to reality.
Such perspective photos can be easily implemented at home or outside, because any building or object can be forced into funny and crazy perspectives. Just try it out with your kids – “play” with different perspectives.
For a fun YouTube video to get inspired, click here:
Do you still know the photo love stories from Bravo? Behind it is the simple comic principle, combining images and short texts. Photos always tell stories and children love stories. Think up a little story together and package it as a photo story. This way, children can also try out their acting talent. It is even easier to create collages on a specific theme, such as “animals” or “nature”. With various apps, you can easily edit, arrange images and add text. Among other things, “Pic’s Art Photo and Collage” and “Edit Pic Collage Photo” let you edit pictures, create collages and insert stickers. “Snapseed”, on the other hand, relies on filters and correcting sharpness and contrast.
If your child has taken particularly successful photos, he or she can present them to other children in a children’s photo community such as Knipsclub or Kamerakinder. While on Instagram and the like, it’s usually the shining filter, a virtual wreath of flowers on the head or the rushing sea in the background that leads to lots of likes, the Knipsclub or the camera kids are all about the essentials: taking photos. Many photo activities and the nomination of the “Photo of the Month” encourage people to participate and try things out. In the digital exhibition, images can be marked with “Like” and commented on. Children up to about 12 years old can exchange ideas with each other. A kids’ photo community is a safe place to try out social network options in a protected space before your child posts photos and more on Instagram and other social apps starting in their teens. Talk to your child about what kinds of photos they share and which ones may be nobody’s business.
Another great idea, for advanced photographers is painting with light, also called light painting. A guide on how to do this with children can be found at“Growing up well with media“.
Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp are used by many young people. All of these services offer a particularly popular function: the creation of so-called Stories. Snapchat had them first, but since Instagram, every teenager knows them.
The “Story” is for sharing current experiences with others. You don’t post a single photo in the chat or in your channel, but upload photos or videos in a story, which are displayed in an automatically running sequence. Subscribers or contacts can usually see them only for 24 hours.
You can decorate your story with all kinds of means – depending on your talent and taste. The apps mentioned above offer similar options here, such as captions, emojis, location markers, linking people, filters, funny stickers, or even polls.
Stories often seem very realistic or close to the lives of others. It can be especially exciting to see what’s going on with your favorite influencer and girlfriends. When you just experience something exciting or beautiful that you would like to share with your friends or followers, the story is a popular tool. Because with pictures and videos a little story can be told.
Since Stories deletes itself after 24 hours, the inhibition threshold is lower to publish rather unflattering, embarrassing and private pictures or videos of oneself. The rule here is: Think first, then post! Only pictures and clips that could easily be seen in the newspaper or on television should be published.
But the possibilities of the Story function can also endanger privacy: The location marker can be used to track where you are at any given time. Unpleasant or dangerous situations can quickly arise, for example, if someone comes to the linked location and seeks out your daughter or son.
Here it helps to agree on rules. Clear rules about what is posted and when create orientation. It doesn’t always have to be at the same moment that a photo is taken! Consider establishing cell phone-free zones with the family where family life can be spent undisturbed and private.
To protect privacy, make sure your (minor) child’s account is set to private. This way, his stories can only be seen by his own followers. It is best to create the user account together with your child, set up the privacy settings and check the security settings.
Talk openly about the potential dangers of careless posting so your child can understand rules of behavior. Your child will then know that you, as parents, are the first point of contact in the event of cyberbullying, harassment or disturbing content.
The content from the stories of your child’s favorite influencers and friends should also be critiqued. Talk to him about it and consider together how calculated a snapshot is likely to be among stars and influencers.
“But I want to watch TV longer, just a little bit more!” – this child substitute should be familiar to most parents. Television – whether via the classic offerings or via streaming – is a popular topic of contention in families and often leads to discussions. Reconciling the children’s wishes with the adults’ ideas is not always easy. How long can I let my child watch TV without a guilty conscience? How do I select suitable shipments? What devices and channels do people watch on? FLIMMO, the parents’ guide to TV, streaming, YouTube and cinema, was created precisely to answer questions of this kind.
On the flimmo.de website, you as a parent can quickly find out whether a particular series or program is suitable for your child. You will also find out what is currently on TV and whether there is something suitable for your child. Children not only use traditional TV programming, but also watch on streaming platforms, YouTube or in media libraries. FLIMMO experts try to check all interesting offers for children. The focus is on the perspective of young media users: What do they like about movies, series or shows? What causes them problems? What do they like to watch and why? How do they deal with media experiences and how do they process them?
The assessments point out problematic issues or warn of possible excessive demands. In the same way, it is made clear what interests, fascinates or amuses children at the respective age. Pedagogical assessments make it clear what children like about a film or series, what can be problematic and what parents should pay particular attention to. FLIMMO also addresses questions about media education in the family: How much media time is okay? What rules help and how do you get siblings under one roof? What is important when dealing with YouTube? The guidebook helps parents meet the challenges of everyday media life with brief information and practical tips.
FLIMMO reviews movies, series, documentaries and theatrical films that children between the ages of 3 and 13 like to watch – or want to watch. A traffic light shows at a glance whether a film, series or YouTube channel is suitable for children or not – and if so, from what age:
Green: This content is suitable from the respective age and is well received by children. You will find entertaining, exciting, funny and educational.
Yellow: There are problematic aspects from a pedagogical point of view. These can be questionable role models or heroines who rely exclusively on violence. Parents should keep an eye on how children deal with this and take countermeasures if necessary.
Red: There are elements that can overwhelm, unsettle or frighten children. Regardless of age, such content is not suitable for children.
FLIMMO is a project of the non-profit association Programmberatung für Eltern e.V. It is scientifically and pedagogically based. Experienced media educators from the JFF – Institute for Media Education take care of the content and ratings. FLIMMO also regularly surveys 3- to 13-year-olds about their preferences.
Even though the offer is primarily aimed at you as a parent, it can be exciting to click through the website’s content together with your child. FLIMMO ‘s simple and clear rating system is well suited for finding suitable content. If your child tells you about an interesting series or YouTube channel, you can look up what FLIMMO has to say about it together.
TikTok gehört noch immer zu den beliebtesten Apps unter Jugendlichen. Sie ist eine Plattform für kreative Kurzvideos aller Art.
TikTok ist Social-Media-Plattform und Video-App in einem: Userinnen und User können bei TikTok aus einer bunten Sammlung von bekannten Popsongs, beliebten Audios und Zitaten, z. B. aus Filmen, wählen. Dazu „singen“ oder „sprechen“ sie Playback und filmen ihre Choreografie innerhalb der App mit dem Smartphone. Aber auch komplett selbst kreierte Kurzvideos werden umgesetzt. Die meisten Videos sind ein paar Sekunden bis wenige Minuten lang. Bestimmte Clips lösen einen richtigen Hype aus, werden nachgeahmt oder im Sinne eines Trends oder einer Challenge weitergeführt.
Die Videos der TikTokerinnen und TikToker, deren Account öffentlich ist, lassen sich über einen Browser anschauen, ohne dass man bei der App angemeldet sein muss. Um selbst Videos zu erstellen, wird allerdings ein Account benötigt.
TikTok bringt immer mehr Funktionen heraus, z. B. sich im Duett mit anderen Usern filmen, die Clips anderer weiterführen (Stitch) oder Livestreams. Auch Unternehmen nutzen die Plattform, um darüber zu werben.
Jugendliche nutzen TikTok gern zum Spaß und für den Austausch untereinander. Auf TikTok lassen sich die jungen Nutzenden unterhalten, suchen nach Vorbildern, an denen sie sich orientieren können, stellen sich selbst dar und erhoffen sich positive Rückmeldung von anderen.
TikTok ist außerdem eine tolle Plattform, um die eigene Kreativität auszuleben. Die Hürde, ein eigenes Video zu erstellen und zu teilen, ist niedrig: In der App gibt es viele Videoeffekte und eine Musikbibliothek mit beliebten Songs, die sofort verwendet werden können.
Kinder und Jugendliche schätzen an TikTok, dass es darin weniger um Perfektion und Professionalität geht, wie auf Instagram oder YouTube, sondern Kreativität und Spaß im Vordergrund stehen. Die Videos sind näher am Alltag und die TikTokerinnen und TikToker werden als nahbarer empfunden.
There are a number of things you and your child should consider before using the app:
TikTok ist sich der Gefahr von verstörenden und unerwünschten Inhalten bewusst und passt seine Sicherheitseinstellungen immer wieder an. Folgende Sicherheitsfeatures stehen Jugendlichen und Ihnen als Eltern zur Verfügung:
Generell lassen sich Accounts melden und/oder blockieren und es gibt einen Filter für beleidigende Kommentare.
In der App wird nach der Registrierung durch einen roten Punkt auf die Einstellungen verwiesen. Im Sicherheitszentrum der TikTok-Website können Eltern Tipps nachlesen.
Personen, die selbst TikToks erstellen und veröffentlichen, können seit einiger Zeit „Alle Kommentare filtern“ und einzeln freigeben. Wer die TikToks anderer kommentieren möchten, wird vorher gefragt, ob dieser Kommentar auch wirklich veröffentlicht werden soll. Außerdem gibt es einen Hinweis auf die Community-Richtlinien, die unangemessene Sprache und Hate Speech verbieten.
TikTok steht wegen seiner Moderationsregeln in der Kritik, denn offenbar wird durch den speziellen Algorithmus stark kontrolliert, welche Videos die Nutzenden sehen können. Auf diese Kritik hat TikTok reagiert. Nutzende haben mittlerweile mehr Optionen, Einfluss auf die vom TikTok-Algorithmus angezeigten Inhalte in ihrem Feed zu nehmen:
Sie können Videos nun mit „nicht interessiert“ markieren oder konkrete Inhalte mit bestimmten Hashtags oder Wörtern automatisch herausfiltern. Seit März 2023 stellt TikTok eine Neustart-Option für den Für-Dich-Feed zur Verfügung. Wer findet, dass die vorgeschlagenen Videos sich wiederholen oder nicht mehr zu den Interessen passen, kann den Feed zurücksetzen und nutzt die App wie nach der erstmaligen Anmeldung. Trotz dieser Maßnahmen bleibt der Für-Dich-Feed Algorithmus-gesteuert und bleibt somit nach wie vor in der Hand des Anbieters. So filtert TikTok zum Beispiel immer wieder Videos von Menschen mit Beeinträchtigungen heraus und je nach Nutzungs-Land kann es sein, dass die Videos der Zensur ihrer dortigen Regierungen unterliegen.
Wenn Ihr Kind sich bei TikTok anmelden möchte, fragen Sie nach seiner Motivation. Sehen Sie sich vor dem Download gemeinsam die Nutzungsbedingungen an. Bei Handysektor finden Sie diese in einem kurzen Überblick. Um TikTok zu erkunden, ist es nicht notwendig, einen Account zu erstellen. Vielleicht ist das Surfen auf TikTok via Browser für den Anfang eine gute Option für Ihr Kind, um herauszufinden, ob ihm TikTok überhaupt gefällt.
Wenn es irgendwann einen Account geben soll, richten Sie diesen gemeinsam ein und probieren Sie zusammen die ersten Schritte aus. Geben Sie das richtige Geburtsjahr an. Für 13- bis 17-Jährige greifen gewisse Sicherheitsfeatures, die den Jugendschutz erhöhen. Eine Anleitung zu kindersicheren Einstellungen TikTok finden Sie auf medien-kindersicher.de.
Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die möglichen Gefahren. Besonders wichtig ist, auf die Privatsphäre zu achten und in den Videos nicht zu viel von sich preiszugeben. Im privaten Modus ist mehr Kontrolle möglich. So ist die Kommunikation nur mit Freundinnen und Freunden möglich und Ihr Kind behält den Überblick darüber, wer die Videos sehen kann.
Versichern Sie Ihrem Kind, dass es sich jederzeit an Sie wenden kann, sollte es Beleidigungen erhalten oder belästigt werden. Zeigen Sie ihm außerdem, wie man unangemessene Inhalte blockieren und melden kann. Mehr Informationen dazu bietet der Leitfaden für Eltern von TikTok in Zusammenarbeit mit der FSM.
Um die eigene Privatsphäre und die von anderen besser zu schützen, muss bei einem Video nicht unbedingt immer das Gesicht zu sehen sein. Mit Hilfe von Emoji-Stickern oder anderen kreativen Lösungen ist das möglich.
Those who have a computer usually also use an anti-virus program. After all, there is a constant threat of danger via the Internet, such as spam e-mails or fake sweepstakes. But is it also important for smartphones to install an antivirus program? How useful this is for Android and iOS phones and what protection virus scanner apps offer is the subject of this article.
A virus scanner detects viruses and malware (malicious and software) and removes them before they can harm the device. To do this, the virus scanner uses profiles to check whether there is already known malware on the device. In addition, the virus scanner analyzes all apps and processes. If it detects suspicious behavior, it banishes the affected app to a quarantine area where it cannot cause any harm.
Android from Google is one of the most widely used operating systems in the world. That is why Android devices are a popular target of hack attacks. The Google Play Store checks most apps, but malicious apps can still be found for download. Even the preinstalled anti-virus program Google Play Protectdoes not provide one hundred percent protection. Those who do not make regular software updates or come into contact with malicious software run the risk of catching a virus.
Manufacturers of well-known antivirus programs for the PC, such as Avast, Avira, McAfee or Norton, offer antivirus apps for Android devices with different offerings. There are both free and paid antivirus scanners for Android. Some with advertising and some without. Some apps offer only the most important features, such as a malware scanner or secure browsing. Other apps also offer services like the Call Blocker to block unwanted calls or a VPN connection for anonymous surfing. These additional features are often available as paid in-app purchases. Current test results of popular Android virus scanners can be found on the website of AV Test .
Those who use an iOS smartphone from Apple do not need an antivirus scanner app. Apple has stronger security mechanisms than Android . Since the distribution of the operating system is low, the attack is hardly worthwhile for criminals. The only way to download apps is via the Apple App Store. Apple itself pre-screens all apps from the store. There are almost no antivirus scanner apps in the App Store. The operating system is built in such a way that apps cannot access other apps. However, Apple users are not protected against phishing emails, chain letters and other scams. Therefore, it is important to perform regular software updates. In addition to vigilance, it can also make sense to install a protection app with features such as WLAN scanners, phishing warnings or an anti-theft function.
When children and young people get their first smartphone, it should be as safe as possible. This also includes protection against viruses. But be careful: no virus scanner can replace a critical approach to e-mails, apps and the like. Find out how you can make your child’s smartphone safer. Talk to your child about careful use of personal data and passwords. Explain to your child how to recognize scam traps online, download apps only from approved stores, and check app permissions.
If you decide to use an antivirus app: install the app together and go through the app settings with your child. Make it clear to your child that no technology is seamless and that he or she must continue to be vigilant when connected to the Internet via smartphone.
“I have read and agree to the terms and conditions”. Does that phrase sound familiar? For example, from online shopping? By clicking on a checkbox, the GTC are confirmed and the purchase is completed. But what is actually behind the term AGB? And what should you as a parent know about it? We explain that in this article.
Kids and teens love trying out new Internet services and apps. They download apps on their smartphone, tablet or laptop alone or with the support of their parents. Often they are not even aware that they have agreed to the terms and conditions with the download. For example, they lack information on how the Internet service handles their data and what rules apply to its use, such as how to interact with each other. The T&Cs often include the age at which the services are permitted and how minors may use the service.
T&Cs are considered the fine print of the Internet. This is because there is important information hidden in it, but it is not understandable at first glance. Mostly they are long texts in difficult language with many complicated terms. Sometimes they are not available in German. For consumers, these texts are often difficult to understand and there is no time to read the terms and conditions carefully. These two offers can help you better understand T&Cs:
Explain to your child what T&Cs are and what rules they contain. Look at the TOS of one of your child’s favorite apps together and help your child critically examine the TOS. Talk with your child about what he or she can do if he or she disagrees with an arrangement. One solution can be not to use the service and, for example, to uninstall an app again. Another option is to use an app in a restricted way, for example, not allowing an app all permissions or sharing as little personal data as possible through the app. Also inform your child that the terms and conditions may change and that users will have to agree or decline again.
From the ice queen via Bibi and Tina directly into the living room of beauty influencers. If you look at what’s on offer in our media, it quickly becomes clear what girls like – or should like. From the first (pink) game phone to the Netflix -The content offered to young people is often heavily trimmed to gender stereotypes and leaves little room for nuances. But is that really what girls like? And how can you, as a parent, appropriately shape your daughter’s journey through the pink and light blue world of media?
XX or XY: Our gender is the first drawer we are usually put into before we are born. For many people, the sex they are assigned according to chromosome and primary sex organs fits. But not for everyone. Some, for example, are non-binary or trans. And even those who feel comfortable as girls or boys do not automatically want to be associated with all stereotypes. For parents and educators, therefore, the following applies regardless of media use: taking a close look and keeping an open mind are important in order to see and accompany children individually. That’s why we use the asterisk to girls* in this text – to show that every form of gender identity is meant.
More information on the topic of queerness can be found in the book “Was ist eigentlich dieses LGTBQI*?” (What is this LGTBQI*? ), which is suitable for children, and at Kindersache from the German Children ‘s Fund (DKHW), as well as at the Queer Lexicon.
When girls* and boys* begin to move in media worlds, gender seems to take on even more weight than it already does. Most children are interested in audio games and videos in kindergarten, discover the Internet during elementary school, and then also want a smartphone. In terms of content, however, girls* and boys* often move in two worlds. This is because girls* are specifically addressed differently by marketing than boys* and there are not many alternative offers. For example, girls* often use services that appear to be tailored to their gender identity. They watch Barbie and horse videos, read fairy stories, and later are more likely to watch casting shows or admire beauty influencers like Bibi .
The image that young girls* are presented with of the world is often colored by stereotypes and simplifications: Girls* naturally love pink, are interested in fashion and makeup, are portrayed as needy and are bad at math. Some girls* seem to love these very clichés (at least at times) – others may find it hard to find alternatives or bow to peer pressure in kindergarten and school.
Of course, not all alarm bells have to ring immediately if your daughter likes Arielle or Gabby’s Dollhouse. Female characters of all varieties are a way for young people to express their own identity. They use stereotypical figures to test their own gender images – and possibly even consciously distance themselves from them. At the same time, too many such identification figures can also lead to stereotypes becoming fixed in the mind and prevent children from forming their own independent gender identity. Therefore, look closely and observe how your child talks about the media content.
As parents, you are important companions on the path of individual development. You serve as role models yourself – in the way you live your own gender identity, but also through your media use. Reflect on how you yourself talk about girls* and boys* and reflect together with your daughter* on the images of girls in the media. Be an*open conversationalist with whom your daughter* can discuss preferences, questions, and even stereotypes. Offer alternative (media) opportunities for your child to try content that has a different focus.
If you are open to your child’s topics, questions and interests and you accompany him or her in a loving and non-judgmental way, you will help your child the most. Because this way, young girls* can search for and live their own identity without fear.
Bob the Builder and Ninjago, war movies and baller games. If you think of “boys’ media,” you quickly get a lot of clichés together. It’s about strength and struggle, toughness and winning, and classic images of masculinity.
But does this media offering really suit all boys? And how can you as a parent guide your son through the stereotypical media images towards individual development?
XX or XY: Our gender is the first drawer we are usually put into before we are born. For many people, the sex they are assigned according to chromosome and primary sex organs fits. But not for everyone. Some, for example, are non-binary or trans. And even those who feel comfortable as girls or boys do not automatically want to be associated with all stereotypes. For parents and educators, therefore, the following applies regardless of media use: taking a close look and keeping an open mind are important in order to see and accompany children individually. That’s why we use the asterisk to boys* in this text – to show that every form of gender identity is meant.
More information on the topic of queerness can be found in the book “Was ist eigentlich dieses LGTBQI*?” (What is this LGTBQI*? ), which is suitable for children, and at Kindersache from the German Children ‘s Fund (DKHW), as well as at the Queer Lexicon.
Boys* today grow up with media from the very beginning. As kindergarteners, they watch videos or listen to radio plays; in elementary school, smartphones and game consoles become interesting. It is striking that boys* often develop different interests and consume different content at a very early age than girls*. This is shown, for example, by the current KIM study. They are more interested in sitcoms or cartoons, show more interest in gaming and action than girls*, and usually look for male role models – initially characters like Fireman Sam or superheroes, later comedians, musicians or athletes. Often these are characters and individuals who embody very stereotypical images of men* as strong, tough guys with power, money, and little emotional accessibility.
There may be various reasons why boys* often like programs in which exaggerated, stereotypical images of masculinity are cultivated: Their own preference, pressure from their friendship group, or a lack of alternatives.
For many parents, this is a difficult situation. They wonder how much they should counteract the stereotypes; how to deal with issues like violence or sexism – and how much stereotyping is okay in the media in the first place.
Exaggerations and clichés are also means that young people in particular use to form their own opinions and identities based on these extreme depictions. They can help children and young people to try out identities, to reflect and to come to their own convictions.
Direct caregivers such as you as parents play an important role in this. By the way you yourself live your (gender) identity and which media you use, you help shape your child. Think about how you yourself talk about girls* and boys* and what gender stereotypes are present in your life.
Especially in the uncertain phase of self-discovery, it is important for adolescent boys* to find open and loving partners in their parents. Engage in conversation with your child about stereotypes portrayed in the media. Offer your child alternatives to diverse media outlets and guide your child in finding his or her own gender identity by looking for different and diverse role models together.
If boys* can grow up with supportive, reflective adults and diverse offers – also in social media – it is easier for them to find an individual and good way of dealing with masculinity* and clichés for themselves.
Do you think of folk music from the Alps when you hear “yodel”? Then you’re just off the mark. Yodel is a social media app with the distinction of anonymously sharing text messages with a local community. The name Yodel reflects the basic principle of the social media app: Yodel is used as if something is being called from the mountain to the valley.
Anyone who wants to sign up for Yodel needs a Google account, an email address or a cell phone number. The app only works with access to the device location. Users register by specifying their gender, age and group characteristics, such as student or trainee.
Yodel offers the following functions:
Yodel offers the usual social media features like hashtags, reactions, emojis and favorites. Some features are only available against purchase of the offer Yodel PLUS , such as certain background colors for the posts or advertising freedom.
What distinguishes Yodel from other social media services is that there are no profiles, no friends and no followers, and all posts are anonymized. Yodel offers various functions for interacting with each other: users can report inappropriate posts, rate content and collect so-called “karma” points depending on their rating and activities.
“My boyfriend wants to leave me. What should I do?” – “Go a cowboy to the barber. Does he go out, bangs gone”. Many young people are active on Yodel. Young people appreciate the offer because they can post anything that comes into their head without any constraints. From profound questions to funny incidents, everything is included. Here they can find themselves and their interests and can exchange information anonymously and at the same time very personally. Comments and reviews give them recognition and make them feel connected to the local community.
Yodel only works if access to the device location is allowed. Having the GPS signal on the mobile device on all the time has disadvantages for data protection and battery performance. With the help of the location function, the location of Yodel contributions can be tracked to within a few meters with a little effort. Anonymity tempts users to behave inappropriately. Although the posts on Yodel are moderated, they may still include inappropriate content such as nude pictures or hate speech. Love, sex and psychological problems are frequent contents on Yodel.
Yodel is not suitable for children and younger teenagers. As with other social networks, users face challenges such as cyberbullying, cybergrooming, and hate speech. For this, young people need a certain degree of maturity and experience in dealing with negative content and unpleasant contacts online. If your child is 16 or older and wants to use Yodel, set up the app together. Your child should indicate his true age, because the content is presorted by gender, age and group. Talk to your child about communication risks online and how to deal with them. Agree with your child on how to use the device location responsibly. You can find out more in this article. Make it clear that your child should not share personal information such as address or name with strangers.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming portals among families. We explain what to look out for if your child wants to watch movies or series there.
Netflix is a video streaming service where you have unlimited access to a huge selection of movies and series with your own account. The company has the rights to use them and also produces some films and series itself. Anyone who wants to use Netflix has to pay between €4.99 and €17.99 per month. In the cheapest subscription model, advertising runs in between. Those who pay more can stream on up to four devices simultaneously. Up to five profiles can be created per account with different settings, e.g. age rating, age rating, subtitle display or playback settings. The movie and series suggestions in the profile also adhere to these settings, but what is actually suggested is calculated by an algorithm from the individual user’s viewing behavior.
Netflix offers content for all ages. For the movies and series, the streaming service adopts the existing FSK rating. If there is no FSK rating, the age ratings are made by Netflix itself, which must comply with German law.
Due to the large amount of content available, there is also a myriad of content for older teens (16+) and adults (18+) that can be scary and problematic for children and teens. Parental controls can be set up by entering a PIN for selected age ratings or specific movie/series titles. In addition, profiles can be protected with a PIN and special children’s profiles can be set up.
Unlike analog, linear television, you can theoretically keep watching indefinitely. The appeal of spending a lot of time on Netflix is therefore high. Here, personal responsibility is required to limit one’s own viewing time . What is already difficult for some adults is even more difficult to control for children and even teenagers.
Netflix displays the respective age rating for movies/series in various places, on the overview page for the movie, in the detailed information or as an overlay at the beginning when playing. Also, individual titles can be locked for individual profiles. These will then also no longer appear in the search or in the suggestion list. In addition, individual profiles – e.g. the profile for adults or older children – can be assigned a PIN so that younger children do not have access. It is also possible to create children’s profiles. This gives you, as parents, the option of making settings appropriate to the age of your child. For example, you can also track what content your child has watched in the last few days or you can prevent the next episode of a series from playing automatically.
Account sharing, i.e. the use of an account by several people at the same time, is possible to a limited extent depending on the subscription. However, this is only allowed with people who live in the same household. Violations of this condition of use are to be subject to charges from 2023.
Pay attention to the age ratings of movies and series. Use the child or parental control options by creating appropriate profiles and protecting them with a secure PIN . This is the only way to ensure that your child cannot end up in the adult section from the child profile.
Only display titles suitable for children in the children’s profile; these are based on the age ratings 0, 6, 12, 16 or from 18 years. Consider whether automatically playing more episodes really makes sense for you. Also, you can have animation effects reduced in the child profile when navigating on the TV. When watching on portable devices, feel free to use the screen lock so that smaller children in particular cannot adjust anything on the device themselves.
Keep an eye on your child’s screen time. It’s best to set media rules together – and set a good example yourself. Media time should be just one of many other non-media activities. If you’re not sure how much time your child should spend in front of the TV or laptop, check out our video: “How much media time is too much?”
Ask your child about his or her favorite series or movies, and it’s best to watch them together so that your child doesn’t feel alone even during scary scenes. It can also turn the shared experience into a beautiful ritual .