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 .
“Dad, can I have the app?”, “Mom, can you please buy me this mobile game here?” – If you have an Android device, you can’t get around the Google Play Store. It entices users with numerous apps, games, and media content from a seemingly endless selection. Find out what the Play Store is all about and how you can make it childproof in this article.
The Google Play Store is an app marketplace for all smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and smartwatches with the Android operating system. The offer can also be used via the browser. Anyone who wants to use the Google Play Store needs a Google account.
There is a huge selection of free and paid apps, games and media content such as books, music, movies and series in the app. The apps are divided into categories from entertainment and shopping to science and news to health and sports.
Anyone who clicks on an item will be shown the detail page. Here you will find the following information:
Apps, games and media content can be downloaded via the green “Install” button. For this, sufficient storage space and a connection to the Internet are required for free offers. If you want to buy paid apps, you click on the button with the price and also have to enter a payment method in the Google Play Store, such as a credit card or a credit card.
Children and young people are curious, hungry for knowledge and love to try new things. Through their peer group, they find out what apps are hot at the moment and also want to install them in order to pass the time with apps and games, deepen a hobby or acquire knowledge. The Google Play Store offers numerous options.
Many apps in the Google Play Store have age labels. Because numerous new apps are added every day, not all apps are tested. That’s why there are apps without age ratings. They are treated the same way as adult apps.
Under the “Kids” tab, you’ll find apps and games that educators recommend. They are divided into three age categories and are intended to make it easier for parents to find their way through the wide range of apps. These apps usually come without ads and in-app purchases and are educational.
When dealing with the Google Play Store, three points are important: choose age-appropriate offers, weigh the costs, and pay attention to data protection.
If your child is using your unsecured device, do not leave your child alone with it. It could download paid apps through the Google Play Store, make in-app purchases, or download offers that aren’t safe or age-appropriate.
If your child uses their own device, set up the Google Play Store to be child-safe:
Tips on how to set up your child’s smartphone safely are available in this article
A well-stocked store that offers many useful applications for Apple products: the Apple App Store. It entices users with numerous apps, games, and media content from a seemingly endless selection. Find out what the Apple App Store is all about and how you can set it up to be childproof in this article.
The Apple App Store is a digital platform where users can download and install iOS apps for their Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It was introduced by Apple in 2008 and has had a significant impact on the app development industry and mobile ecosystem ever since.
From games and entertainment apps to useful tools and productivity apps, the App Store offers a wide range. Users can search for apps, read ratings and reviews, buy apps or download them for free, and sign up for subscriptions. Specifically, there are ‘Today’ (apps and news selected by Apple), ‘Games’ (different types of games), ‘Apps’ (apps by category), ‘Arcade’ (exclusive games within the Apple Arcade subscription) and the general ‘Search’ categories for this on the home screen. When browsing, however, advertised apps are preferred. This means that even when searching for a specific app, the app you are looking for will first appear under a promotional post.
For developers, the App Store provides a platform to market. To do this, the apps must meet certain Apple guidelines and requirements regarding privacy, security, and features that enhance user experience. Each app is pre-screened for this by Apple before release. Some female developers criticize the high fees Apple charges for selling apps in the Apple App Store, while others have concerns about the review and approval processes.
Games, coloring and drawing apps, music and creative apps, entertainment apps and learning apps – the Apple App Store offers children and young people numerous options. Many of the apps are interactive, entertaining and promote cognitive development, language development or fine motor skills.
There is a separate category in the Apple App Store for children up to the age of twelve: it is called ‘Kids’. The apps there are usually kid-friendly and educational. However, the category is not intuitive to find. To do this, you must enter ‘children’ in the search box. This is the only way to land in the children’s section with subcategories.
The age ratings are set by Apple itself based on the content of the app and the target audience. Factors such as violence, sexual content, drug use, or gambling are considered. Each app is then given an age rating of 4+, 9+, 12+, 17+ or no clearance. Apple uses its own guidelines and standards for this.
Strict guidelines for all apps for children should ensure their safety: child-friendly content. No use of tracking technologies. No advertising. No in-app purchases without parental permission. Easy navigation and operation. No links to outside websites or social media without parent permission. Educational Benefits.
You can also adjust the settings on their Apple devices to restrict access to certain apps or content and ensure that your child can only access kid-friendly apps.
Tips on how to safely set up your child’s smartphone are available in this article.
Friendships in your child’s life are important and become closer over time. At some point, falling in love comes along and the first relationships are formed. We explain what the most popular apps and communication tools for young people involve for flirting and dating online.
To keep in touch with their peers, many young people primarily use familiar platforms such as WhatsApp , Instagram or Snapchat . Outside of school and sports clubs, they are used to get to know each other better, to follow each other quite inconspicuously, or to feel closer to each other.
But dating apps are also gradually becoming interesting for young people – around the age of 15. However, there are only a few contact portals that are aimed at or suitable for young people, as it is mainly people from their late 20s who go looking for a partner here. Most communities also do not allow participation until the age of 18. Only a few flirting sites offer their services to younger teenagers: Yubo is aimed at young people aged 12 to 17. Although the service is not officially a dating app, it is also used for that purpose and works very similarly to Tinder. MyLOL is aimed at 13- to 19-year-olds and markets itself as a teen dating app, mind you without any age verification. The dating app Skout is now available for ages 17 and up.
Adult dating apps likeTinder, Bumble,Lovoo ,and queer-friendly offerings likeOKCupid . are also exciting for young people because of their playful design: You are shown a picture of another person and decide whether you find them attractive by swiping left or right. Out of curiosity alone, young people are also on the platforms for adults, because there is no age control for these apps.
Especially when flirting over the Internet, you have to be careful because you can’t see your counterpart. You don’t know whether what a person writes about himself or herself is true and what interests he or she is pursuing.Anyone can register with a portal or social media platform – whether they are of age or not. When you make contact with strangers, there is a risk of theCybergrooming, i.e., initiating sexual relations with minors.
When adolescents begin to fall in love and (want to) have their first relationships, there is also the risk ofSextingandCyberbullying to Sextortion: Some young people are easily persuaded to send revealing pictures of themselves without realizing the consequences and dangers.The swipe function of some dating apps also supports superficial judgments of others based solely on their appearance. This increases the risk of Insults and Hate Speech.
Inform yourself about communication risks on the Internet and educate your child in this regard. Even if your child knows the person they are chatting with, they should be careful about what they write and what photos they send of themselves. Even with offerings like Snapchat where the photos delete themselves automatically, but they can still be saved forever via screenshot. Talk to your child about the fact that content on the Internet can also be disseminated quickly and unintentionally. Encourage your child to listen to his or her gut and not be pushed into anything.
No matter what app your child uses for communication, make sure to instruct them on privacy settings. It’s best to go through these together and consider which settings make sense, such as a profile set to private on Instagram . Make sure to turn off the location function of the apps. This way you can avoid strangers (or unwanted) tracking your child.
Flirting and dating are important for your child. However, make your child aware not to meet complete strangers. And certainly not on their own. At least one phone call should have already taken place. If you are completely unsure, start the first call with a suppressed phone number.
When it comes to a meeting, an adult person should always know about it. This person can, for example, come to the meeting and stay in the background. The meeting place should always be a public place where there are many other people. In addition, the meeting should take place during the day when it is still light outside.
Stay in regular communication with your child about which portals and apps your child is using, what he or she is doing there, or with whom he or she is communicating. However, please continue to respect your child’s right to privacy. Don’t control it, but agree together on rules for dealing with it.
And if your child doesn’t want to talk to you about such things, he or she can get very good information on the subject at ins-netz-gehen.de orhandysektor.de.
The smartphone vibrates in your pocket. When you look at it, there are 15 new messages in the family group and a voice message from your best friend waiting for your reply. This can be annoying or even put pressure on you. Being constantly connected and reachable can trigger digital stress – even among young people. But how does that happen?
Digital stress is mainly related to constant accessibility, distraction and control. Most young people – but also many adults – assume that they will respond to messages on WhatsApp , Instagram and Co within a few minutes or have to respond. This expectation of always having to be available can lead to stress on both sides, e.g. if other important tasks such as homework are neglected in the process.
Many young people take their smartphone to bed with them. The first thing many young people do when they wake up in the morning is automatically reach for their smartphone. This also happens at other times of the day – often quite unconsciously as a distraction or out of boredom. For example, many people use their social media feed as a bedtime story before going to sleep, but the more screen time during the day, the more trouble you can have falling asleep or sleeping through it.
For children and young people, it’s part of the job to constantly communicate and stay in touch with their friends via messenger apps, social media or online games. However, this is also associated with social pressure . Social media apps are made to get as much user attention as possible, and not all content does teens good. The own self-expression, the comparison with idols or friends can be exhausting. Online games also want to keep players engaged with reward systems and performance principles.
Those who do not participate in group chats, for example, fear being excluded from the schoolyard as well. That’s why it’s especially hard for younger teenagers to escape the flood of news. This phenomenon has a name: FOMO stands for “Fear of missing out” and describes the fear of missing out or not noticing something.
At the same time, many young people are annoyed that their friends are constantly looking at their cell phones when they are out together. On the other hand, they themselves find it difficult to take their eyes off their cell phones and constantly check their smartphones for incoming messages. When a red number appears on the app icon on the display, it makes you excited and curious. It is a small feeling of happiness that wants to be repeated as often as possible.
Older teenagers are often already aware of the problem and try to find their own solutions to it. They are more likely to be able to separate themselves from their own circle of friends and to pursue their own needs with self-confidence. Whether on vacation, while learning, or permanently – under JOMO (“Joy of missing out”), for example, social media users share their joy at being able to switch off and put digital media aside for a while.
In the age of smartphones, mobile Internet and messengers, almost everyone can relate to the term digital stress. Many children and young people are bothered by the fact that their parents also look at their smartphones too often. You are a role model for your child for conscious media use. If you yourself feel stressed by your smartphone, talk openly about it with your child. This way, it feels understood when it can’t put the smartphone down.
Together with the whole family, find strategies to reduce stress. Set rules together to reduce time on the cell phone. This can be, for example, a ban on cell phones during meals together or in the bedroom. Of course, the adults must also abide by these rules!
Or you can arrange a “digital diet” in which all family members abstain completely from digital media and the Internet for a while. If you do something nice together as a family instead, the renunciation may not be quite so hard!
Apps for regulating media time or setting options such as screen time can help to use media more consciously . A comprehensive list on how to avoid digital stress is provided by the saferinternet.at site.
Star Trek, Top Gun, Paw Patrol – the streaming service Paramount+ offers a wide range of movies and series of various genres for adults and children. In this article, we will take a closer look at the service and present its main settings for children.
The streaming service of the US media group Paramount has a selection of movies and series to offer. Including blockbusters such as The Lost City or La La Land, exclusive series such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds or Yellowstone and live sporting events such as NFL or UEFA Champions League games.
The platform is divided into a separate category for children’s programming and offers a wide selection of animated series, children’s films and live-action programs such as all seasons of Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants and Spotlight. There is also original content produced specifically for children, such as Kamp Koral.
The price for the streaming service is lower than that of the competition. The catalog is still relatively thin compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and the like, but certainly extensive enough and continues to grow weekly.
Without parental controls, minors have unlimited access to all content on the streaming service – including content that is not suitable for their age and developmental level, or that may frighten or overwhelm them. Therefore, use the option to protect profiles with a PIN and set up children’s profiles.
Like every streaming service, Paramount+ is also incredibly appealing with the option of being able to keep watching indefinitely. In series, one episode after the next is played automatically. It is at least as difficult for children and young people as it is for adults to act on their own responsibility here. Make your child aware of this and set a good example. Additionally, you can limit the screen time in the children profiles.
It is also important to note that children are not always able to recognize the differences between fiction and reality. So take time to guide your child and talk about content your child sees on Paramount+ and help them understand what’s going on.
Paramount+ offers the possibility to protect profiles with a PIN and to set parental control settings. However, these settings are disabled by default. Parents must do this independently.
The settings are based on age ratings. Paramount does not specify which criteria are used for the releases.
By the end of elementary school, many children get their own smartphone. With it, they can do different things and have access to the Internet. In addition to many great opportunities, however, it also exposes children to risks. It is especially important that you talk to your child about possible dangers and make safety settings on the new cell phone together.
Without your child realizing it, he or she is leaving data trails by using a messenger and other apps, as well as by surfing the web. Explain to your child the various smartphone functions and how to set them sensibly: WLAN, Bluetooth and location should remain switched off by default and only be activated when absolutely necessary. For example, GPS is necessary if your child is looking for directions to a specific location using a map app. Check the app permissions in the settings together with your child. For example, you can avoid apps accessing the camera without reason or sharing data with other devices and networks. Educate your child about online scams, such as spam emails or phishing. A virus protection app helps against unwanted viruses. This way, your child can protect themselves from dangers such as data theft, subscription traps or fake offers.
For a safe stay on the net, it is important to use codes and passwords. Your child’s cell phone should only be used after entering a code (PIN, swipe code or similar) so that no strangers can access the data. Set up secure password protection with your child. This also applies to registration with social media services and apps. Secure passwords consist of at least twelve characters and contain special characters and numbers in addition to letters. Depending on the device, a fingerprint of the child can also be used for unlocking (e.g. Touch ID on iOS). Tips for creating secure passwords are available – e.g. at Handysektor. For younger children, it is recommended that at least one parent also knows the screen lock combination and password.
On every smartphone, security and parental control settings can also be made in the settings. Detailed information on this can be found, among other things, in the article on technical youth media protection.
On Android, you can block the installation of apps in the Play Store or set a password for installation or in-app purchases. To do this, activate the parental control settings. You can choose which apps your child can install without a password.
In addition, for Android devices, it is recommended to install a parental control app such as Salfeld Parental Control or download a security app. Limiting screen time helps to control the duration of app use and ensure balanced media consumption. With the Kids Place app, you can, for example, set a time limit on screen time, only allow the use of certain apps, or block unsuitable websites. The Google Family Link app also offers some ways to regulate your child’s cell phone use.
iOS devices offer even more options in their own device settings. Under Screen Time you have the option to set restrictions and assign a separate code for them. You can then, for example, allow or block the use of certain apps and restrict in-app purchases with a password. Movies, music, apps and TV shows with a higher age rating can also be blocked automatically. iOS can automatically filter and hide web content in Safari and apps.
To avoid cost traps, a rate plan with targeted, limited data volume can be useful. Thus, your child has only a limited scope to spend time on the Internet.
Make sure to set certain settings on social media apps as well and use Instagram safely, for example. Here you can specifically regulate the visibility of your child’s profile and the basic contact options. Some platforms even offer a child-friendly alternative mode – for example, the accompanied mode at TikTok.
For more information on safe smartphone settings, it’s worth visiting medien-kindersicher.de. Here are helpful, tech protection solutions for all of your child’s devices, services and apps.
Smartphones come with some features to make chatting, surfing the web and using apps safer for your child. Nevertheless, these settings on the device or even parental control apps do not replace the supervision of you as a parent. Your child should always understand why certain websites or apps should be blocked or why GPS tracking should remain disabled. Also, always base your control and safety on your child’s age and development. Especially with teens, don’t intrude too much on your child’s privacy. However, always try to stay in conversation with your child and be there as a point of contact for questions or uncertainties.
Playbrush Kids is a smart sonic toothbrush with interactive games app designed specifically for kids to make brushing teeth a fun experience. The app uses the gamification approach to make brushing teeth a game that kids love to play. We explain what’s behind it.
With this app you can play games, track brushing activities and learn how to brush teeth properly. To do this, the app uses gamification technology, a trend in the technology industry, especially in healthcare. The idea is to use playful elements such as points, rewards or competitions to motivate people to improve their health and well-being. Playbrush Kids aims to promote healthy tooth brushing habits in children, for good oral hygiene and better long-term dental health.
The children’s toothbrush acts as a game controller – either with a special toothbrush attachment (Playbrush Smart), which is placed on a conventional manual toothbrush, or as an electric sonic toothbrush (Playbrush Smart Sonic). These are equipped with sensors that detect the movements of the toothbrush and transmit them wirelessly to the app.
The children then have to complete various tasks while brushing their teeth, such as fighting little monsters or collecting objects. The app tracks the child’s progress and offers rewards for good performance. It also reminds how long and how often children should brush their teeth. Playbrush Kids was developed by dentists.
For children, Playbrush Kids can be very appealing as it allows them to experience brushing their teeth as an interactive and fun game. You can play different games and unlock characters, which makes the experience even more interesting. Children can track their own progress as they clean and feel proud when they achieve their goals. Gamification elements such as points and rewards provide additional motivation for most children.
Playbrush Ltd is the company behind the app. They describe it as an innovative solution to help children improve their dental health by making brushing a fun and entertaining experience. They emphasize that the app is secure and complies with data protection laws.
Playing is fun – and it should be. Support your child in not neglecting or overdoing tooth brushing. A mutually agreed time limit can help. If you have any concerns, please talk to your dentist.
The app’s reward system should be seen more as a support. Also encourage your child to take care of their dental health on their own initiative. So it can develop a lasting healthy habit.
Interact with your child – together, mouth music, brushing technique training and oral health quizzes become even more fun.
On long car journeys, on train journeys, or simply cozily at home on the sofa – the Tiptoi interactive learning system is popular with children and parents. We explain the many functions offered by the hearing pen.
The Tiptoi is a reading or listening pen. If you tap the stylus on a picture or text in a book provided for this purpose, suitable sounds, speech or music will sound. Stories, games and toys are thus brought to life. To do this, you need to download the corresponding audio files from the Internet in advance. For the old generation of the hearing pen (for 3 years and older), you have to connect the pen to a computer to do this. With the new version of the hearing pen (for ages 2 and up), this all works via the charging station with WLAN connection; it is completely independent of the parental computer.
The levels of experience in the books or puzzles are divided into four categories:
The reading pen can be used not only in combination with books, but also with games, a globe or puzzles. It is recommended for children from 2 years. Products for different age groups are offered.
The earlier devices (since 2018) for children over the age of three have an integrated microphone so that children can record their own sounds and speech. The newer device (from 2022) for children from the age of two has no microphone and therefore no recording function.
The multiple uses of the listening pen offer an interactive and engaging way to learn. This encourages the children to become active and to foster their curiosity. By playing with Tiptoi books and toys, children can improve their cognitive skills and develop their language, math and social skills.
Also, the listening pen allows children to discover the world around them in a new way. You can immerse yourself in a variety of topics and learn more about history, science, or geography. For example, not only is it explained what the hoot of an owl sounds like, but you can also listen to it. Even several times. The operation of the pen is simple and its use is adapted to the motor skills of a child aged from about 2 years.
The products designed specifically for children over 2 years are usually simpler. They have larger and more colorful images, as well as less text and more complex interactive features. They aim to stimulate the senses and curiosity of younger children and develop their fine motor skills.
The products for ages 4 and up are usually more complex and sophisticated in terms of interactive features and learning materials. They are often designed with more text and more challenging content to give children a deeper understanding of topics such as history, science, or math.
According to Ravensburger, Tiptoi inspires and motivates to play and learn! It is an innovative learning and creative system with which children discover the world through play. Its child-friendly design and high-quality content, as well as the wide range of possible uses, are particularly highlighted here.
With the Create recording function, the provider promises to promote your child’s language skills and self-confidence.
The listening pen is only compatible with the corresponding Ravensburger products. The cost of the pen and matching books should therefore not be underestimated. The pen alone already costs about 39 euros. However, you can choose from a variety of products in different price ranges, which are also always a nice gift idea.
With the older version of the pen (for ages 3 and up), audio content can only be loaded onto the device using Tiptoi Manager, a computer program from Ravensburger. Computers and Internet access are therefore a prerequisite. The recording function cannot be used with all Tiptoi products, but only with Create products.
For more on what to consider when using family read aloud pens, check out our general post on this.
Stickers have long been indispensable in messenger apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and others. The small, colorful pictures are often funny or cute and offer a fun and creative way to express emotions and liven up conversations. We explain what stickers are useful for and when their use can also become exhausting.
Unlike traditional emojis, stickers are often hand-drawn or digitally created graphics. The small images and animations offer an easy and quick way to convey a message, express your mood or bring fun into a conversation. Stickers can also be used to overcome language barriers. Since images are a universal language, they can be useful in multicultural communication situations.
There are stickers for almost every situation, from funny memes and cute animals to political messages and cultural references. With various apps like Sticker Maker or Sticker Studio, you can quickly and easily create your own stickers that are not available in any other app.
For children and teenagers, sending and receiving the colorful images provides entertainment and fun. It is typical for young people in particular to communicate with images. Image communication partially replaces the written word. Children also like to make jokes, laugh and have fun. In stickers they can easily combine all this. Especially creating your own stickers provides a lot of creativity and individuality, which is especially popular among young people.
Find out about the apps your child uses and see what stickers are available there. There are also special parental control apps that can restrict access to certain apps or features.
Remember that social contacts become increasingly important for your child as he or she reaches puberty, and digital communication is just as much a part of this as conversations in the playground. Educate your child about not spreading stickers that may offend or harass others. Discuss rules for dealing with stickers – especially in class and group chats. Getting others’ permission before sharing stickers can help reduce problems. Also educate your child about what to do if he or she feels uncomfortable or harassed and always be approachable.
Talk to other parents and teachers about how stickers are handled in group chats. This way you can support each other and exchange ideas.
Feel free to create a fun sticker together with your child sometime. This encourages creativity and engagement with images and text.
The smartphone is only a few years old and already broken. But does that mean it has to be replaced with a brand new device? What has long been established in the textile industry is also becoming increasingly popular for electronics: buying technical equipment second-hand. This is easy on both the wallet and the environment. We shed light on the background and present selected stores.
The manufacture of smartphones, tablets and the like requires many valuable resources such as plastics, metals and rare earths. Some raw materials are mined in countries like Congo, supporting armed conflicts and child labor. During production, any amount ofCO2 escapes into the atmosphere. If the device is broken and ends up in the trash, it pollutes the environment again in the form of electronic waste. These are just some of the problematic backgrounds of today’s electronics industry. If you are looking for an alternative to this, the second-hand market is the place to go.
The sustainable alternative to buying new is to purchase a used unit. Not only smartphones, tablets and laptops are available on the second-hand market. Smartwatches, cameras and consoles or accessories such as headphones, cables and cases are also offered via online stores. And at significantly lower prices than new goods. Beforehand, all media equipment is checked, cleaned, repaired and refurbished. All data is deleted and the device is reset to the factory settings. In this way, used equipment is resold as good as new, thus extending the life cycle of electronics. The second-hand market makes an important contribution to the circular economy and conserves valuable resources.
The Berlin-based online store rebuy.de was awarded the test mark 2.2 by Stiftung Warentest 2023 as the best provider of refurbished smartphones. The German company was particularly convincing with the high quality of the smartphones on offer.
Refurbed.de offers not only high-quality, used electronics at low prices. For every device sold, the German company plants a tree and thus promotes climate neutrality. Large retailers also offer refurbished products with warranty, such as Amazon Renewed, Ebay Refurbished or B-Ware at Media Markt.
Whether among friends or in online advertising – children and young people are constantly being touted the latest technology. But does it really always have to be the latest gadget? Younger children in particular can get off to a good start with a less expensive second-hand model. The first smartphone offers a good reason to purchase a second-hand device. This means that children and young people do not have to hide or even feel ashamed. Sustainability is in with young people, and quite rightly so! Those who know about the background wear their rescued device with pride and can be role models for their peer group.
It’s best to buy used goods through online retailers rather than private sales. Large stores test and overhaul the equipment and provide it with a warranty. Consider how much money you want to spend and in what used condition you want to buy the electronics. Read the product descriptions carefully and also pay attention to notes such as non-smoking or or pet-free household. Take good care of your devices, save the battery and show your child how to enjoy their devices for a long time. If it is broken beyond repair, dispose of it properly together, for example at the recycling center. In this way, valuable ingredients are put to use again. Does your child really want a new device with the latest features as a birthday gift? Then consider selling the old device together via online trading. This way it stays in the cycle and gets the chance for a second life.
Especially adolescents in puberty want to discover their own sexuality, try themselves out and test how they affect other people. This also happens in the digital space via messenger or social network. We explain what sexting is and what you should watch out for.
So sexting means sending erotic messages, revealing pictures or videos, like pictures in shorts, swimsuit or being completely topless. In doing so, you want to put yourself in the scene as sexy as possible in order to appear attractive to your counterpart. By the way, sexting is not a phenomenon that occurs only among young people. On the contrary, adults send such pictures much more often.
Basically, sexting is not a bad thing: it can be a proof of love, an attempt to impress your crush or simply testing your own impact. However, a fundamental problem arises: relationships between people change. Trust is not always a given. You can’t know what will happen to your own images. For example, images that were sent consensually and in confidence may then be forwarded to others without being asked or without consent.
So sexting itself is not bad, but the misuse of the images by other people is the problem – and can also be punishable. Young people whose images are used are the victims in this case. They are not to be condemned at all.
Educate your child about sexting. Speak frankly and respect privacy yourself of your child. In this way, you can support your child in using digital media safely and responsibly. Help your child develop healthy self-esteem and encourage him or her to confide in an adult if he or she has been harassed, threatened, or a victim of sexting abuse. If this ever happens: Help your child report the abuse and have the relevant material deleted, Explain to your child that he or she did nothing wrong. At www.safer-sexting.de you and your child can get extensive information about what is allowed when sexting, what to watch out for, what to urgently refrain from and where to get support.
“Allow all cookies”, “Only 5 left in stock!” – does something like this sound familiar? Maybe you’ve clicked on something while browsing or spent more money while shopping online when you really didn’t mean to. Behind this is a mechanism that deliberately deceives users on websites, in online commerce, in apps and games.
Dark patterns are designed to induce Internet users to take actions that are not in their interest, but work in favor of the provider. This involves working with design principles from graphic design as well as tricks from behavioral psychology. The aim is to obtain personal data from users or to tempt them into excessive purchases of products, subscriptions or contracts. Well-known examples are:
Children and young people also encounter manipulative strategies every day on the Internet. Especially on social media platforms, in apps or video games, they have to deal with hidden information, advertising banners, sales strategies and psychological tricks. The special algorithms and endless feeds of TikTok, Instagram and the like are deliberately designed to keep users in the apps as long as possible. Likes and comments inspire, but also create social pressure. Video games like Fortnite and gaming apps like Coin Master use mechanisms such as unnecessary time pressure, intrusive in-app purchases, and opaque loot boxes, among others. On websites and search engines, it is not always easy to distinguish advertising from content. Younger children in particular do not yet have the experience and maturity to see through Dark Patterns and not be guided by emotions.
Be careful when surfing the Internet, protect your child’s data and encourage your child to use data sparingly. Discuss with your child the conscious use of money and accompany him or her when making first orders or payments online. Educate your child about the mechanics of online advertising and sales tricks on the Internet. Consider the following tips and discuss them with your child:
In addition, solutions from the technical youth media protection can support the safe Internet use of your child, for example, youth protection filters, access restrictions or ad blockers.
Are such strategies allowed at all? Legally, dark patterns operate in a gray area. If you or your child have had a negative experience with it, report it together to the consumer center: verbraucherzentrale.de/beschwerde.
“Just ask a chatbot!” – or something similar could be the future motto when it comes to researching on the Internet or answering tricky questions. The chat program ChatGPT is currently the talk of the town, and even children and teenagers are trying out the language program. We provide an insight into the tool.
The chatbot gives users answers from the web using machine learning. We had a little chat with him.
Question: What is ChatGPT?
Answer: ChatGPT is a computer model developed by OpenAI to have conversations with humans. It is particularly good at answering questions and carrying on conversations, having been trained on large amounts of text.
Question: What kind of texts was ChatGPT trained with?
Answer: ChatGPT has been trained with texts such as news articles, books, conversations and other documents from the Internet.
Question: Please write a two-sentence summary of “George Orwell: 1984”.
Answer: “1984” by George Orwell is a dystopia in which a totalitarian government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. The protagonist, Winston Smith, works for the government but rebels against it and meets a woman named Julia, but is eventually captured and “reprogrammed.”
Question: Does ChatGPT have an answer for everything?
Answer: No, ChatGPT does not have an answer for everything. It is a computer model and can sometimes give wrong or inaccurate answers, especially to strange or unknown questions. It is important to check ChatGPT’s responses and use them with caution.
Question: What do children and teenagers do with ChatGPT?
Answer: Children and teenagers can talk to ChatGPT and ask it questions as they would with a friend or an online search engine. ChatGPT can help them find answers to questions that interest them. Some children also use it to improve their communication skills. It is important that children and young people learn how to use technology safely and responsibly, including ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is an advanced voice AI that can do more than traditional search engines and voice assistants. It can write original texts, carry on fluent conversations, translate texts into other languages, and perform complex tasks. It can be fascinating to see how quickly and straightforwardly replies and interesting and entertaining information is delivered. Some children and young people also simply enjoy a conversation with a virtual counterpart or unexpected answers. Also, the technology behind ChatGPT can be impressive and interactions with an AI exciting. This supports children and young people in their self-exploration and promotes creativity and linguistic skills.
According to OpenAI, children and young people should be protected as follows:
Explain to your child that not everything the chat program says is true or correct. ChatGPT has been trained with texts, and therefore only knows what it has seen. It can make mistakes. Make sure your child verifies the information they receive with other sources. It’s best to try this out together and explain to him how to deal with disinformation.
The chatbot can assist with school-related tasks. For example, he can describe something in simple words. ChatGPT should not do homework for your child. Explain to your child that ChatGPT is a tool and not a perfect source. ChatGPT cannot think.
Stay in conversation with your child and educate them about dangerous content online. The chatbot has also been trained with texts that may be inappropriate for your child. Work out boundaries and rules for use together.
You and your child should not submit any personal information. Encourage your child to let you know if there is a problem. Make sure your child understands how to protect his or her privacy.
Children and young people should be able to navigate the Internet safely. This is legally regulated by the Protection of Minors in the Media Act, among other things. At the same time, the topic of online safety is part of parents’ media education responsibilities. Solutions for the technical protection of minors from harmful media are a building block for guiding children between protection, empowerment and participation when using the Internet. In this article, we will give an overview of the most important settings, apps and programs.
You would like to introduce technical youth media protection at home? Then don’t do it secretly. Talk to your child about it, explain the app or program, and make adjustments together. Think carefully about your and your child’s need for protection. Acknowledge your child’s needs and find age-appropriate solutions. Adapt the measures to your child’s current stage of development and media use behavior. But the most important point is: Technical protection can support media education, but not replace it! Keep an open dialog with your child, explain the risks to him or her and work together to establish media rules in the family.
Always on – always being on your smartphone or tablet can be exhausting and distracting from what else there is to do. With the help of screen time, you and your child can check how long you spend in which apps. Various setting options, such as the app timer, the concentration mode or the idle time, can also help to put the device away again or not to be distracted by certain digital temptations.
The children’s search engine fragfinn.de operates the browser app fragFINN. The Child Protection app provides a safe surfing space with access to vetted, child-friendly websites for children ages 6 to 12. You can also make settings when dealing with other search engines such as bing, ecosia or google to support safe searching on the web and filter out inappropriate content.
The advantage to children’s accounts is that you can create a separate account for each of your children and equip it with individual, age-appropriate settings. A child account with Microsoft Family Safety lets you set screen time settings, content filters, activity reports, cost controls and more for Android devices, laptops running Windows 10 and 11, and Xbox. Be sure to strike the right balance between protection and control, and discuss the settings with your child. Those who use many Google offers can create a child account via the Google Family Link and thus control their own child’s smartphone use. You should carefully consider the extent to which this makes sense for your teenager.
If you prefer to be independent of providers and operating systems, you can install various programs for technical youth media protection. JusProg is a state-approved youth protection program that is free of charge, data-saving and ad-free. Salfeld Parental Control is available for a fee and focuses on time limits and filters, as well as connecting parent and child devices.
Did you know that you can child-proof your router, such as the Fritz!BOX? You can create access profiles, set online times and block Internet sites. Game consoles like Xbox and Switch are also equipped with parental control settings that you can set up individually. The main issues here are age limits and, in the case of video games, limits on the length of games.
If your child likes to be on social media platforms, you should make settings together in the apps, e.g. for communication, contact and profile visibility. Explain to your child how to report and block contacts and content. If your child is still young, he or she can use TikTok in accompanied mode. As a parent, you have the option to restrict various functions. On Instagram, you can get insight about contacts and followers through parent supervision and set time limits. Snapchat ‘s Family Center allows an overview of one’s child’s usage without being able to access the content of messages and posts. With YouTube, you can either set up restricted access or use the child-friendly alternative YouTube Kids.
With streaming services like Netflix, the main concern is that your child only has access to age-appropriate movies and series. Many, but not all, of the contents are FSK-approved and are marked with age ratings. Set up a separate profile for each of your children and protect your profile with a secure PIN.
You know your child best. You know what he or she likes to do with media and where your child should be especially protected. Keep your knowledge of parental control settings and programs up to date. Use help services such as medien-kindersicher.de. There you’ll find suitable settings for every device and operating system, for every app, every hot game and social media offering, according to age group. Use technical youth media protection to support your media education. Accompany your child’s media use, set a good example, and encourage your child’s media literacy.