Accounts on Instagram, TikTok or Amazon are secured with passwords. For example, strangers should not be able to access sensitive data such as address, account number, etc., or post or order things in the name of others. However, some passwords are so simple that they can be easily “cracked” by criminals with technical help. Children should learn what strong passwords look like as soon as they use digital devices or go online.
A secure password has at least 12 characters and consists of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid personal passwords like your children’s birthdates, because they are easy to figure out with a little research. Sequences of numbers (for example, “12345”), alphabetical sequences of letters (such as “abcdefg”), or a sequence of adjacent keys on the keyboard (such as “qwertz”) are also not safe. Words that are not in any dictionary and have nothing to do with you or the service you are trying to sign up for are best.
Creating a secure password and remembering it in the long run is not that easy. A mnemonic helps with this. Think of a sentence that you can easily remember, for example “Elternguide.online informs and supports parents also in 2023!”. If you take out only the first letters, numbers and special characters of the sentence, the following password will be created: “Eoi+uEaiJ2023!” This string is safe and you will not forget it easily. If you can’t think of a phrase of your own, you can think of a proverb, for example, “When two quarrel, the third rejoices!” Or you can use the password generator from Data-Kids, which will help you and your child create such secure passwords!
A password should be changed regularly. It is recommended to use a separate password for each of the different platforms, as data leaks and theft of user data can always occur. Hackers could access all accounts if the same password was always used.
If you can’t or don’t want to remember so many different passwords, it’s best to use a password manager. This allows passwords to be managed and stored in encrypted form. You will then need to remember only one password for the manager. With the password key machine , parents and children can come up with password keys that are hard to forget.
You can read and view more about secure topics on the website of the German Federal Office for Information Security.
Children and young people do not always turn to their parents with their problems. Problems at school, with peers or themselves, are rather discussed among friends. They look for answers, like-minded people on the Internet or keep it to themselves. But what happens when the problems become bigger and the people concerned can no longer find a way out? If you as a parent notice that your child is not doing well? The Internet is not always a good source of advice on problems, but there are definitely safe and helpful digital counseling services for young people and parents.
Online counseling services offer support for problems and concerns such as bullying, eating disorders, or depression. Some services are aimed specifically at children and young people. Those affected can seek help on their own and get advice on various topics anonymously and free of charge via a website or by telephone.
In addition to individual counselling, many of the counselling services on the net offer the possibility to discuss problems in a group or a forum. For individual counselling, those affected write their problems directly to psychologically trained counsellors. In such an exchange, young people receive immediate help and support. Depending on the problem and the need, this exchange can vary in length. Group offers usually take place in a rhythm, e.g. weekly. Regular participation is often helpful, but not absolutely necessary. Sometimes, like-minded people can be found in such chats who are also there for each other outside of the meetings. Within forums, affected persons exchange information with peers. Peers are people of the same age. They have been trained to help with problems in the chat. In addition, they always have the possibility of accessing the help of adult professionals. The exchange in the forums is also moderated to avoid insults, triggers or the disclosure of data.
The counselling and support services differ in terms of which age group is addressed, which topics are the focus and how counselling can be accessed. Some services are also aimed at parents seeking help:
Help offers on the net can be accepted easily and free of charge. They are more accessible to young people than, for example, counselling centres. The counsellors are trained and those affected remain anonymous. Making contact can be a first and right step. Especially in case of problems at school, at home or with oneself, it can help to exchange ideas with peers or to get the advice of an objective person. However, online counselling is no substitute for therapy! In case of suicidal thoughts or mental disorders, it is imperative to seek the advice of another therapeutic professional and to seek ongoing therapy. Other professionals should also be sought for legal or medical issues.
Tell your child that these services exist. Explain that compared to groups in open forums or on social media, they are safer because trained staff are behind them. Also beware of so-called psycho apps. These are not always helpful and can even be dangerous. Show your child which services it can use without hesitation when it has problems and worries.
Above all, make it clear that he or she can count on your help if problems arise. Do not put pressure on your child and ask without bias if you feel he/she has problems. A problem that seems small to you may feel much worse to your child. You can also get counselling yourself or together online.
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.
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.
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.
The range of video games is now huge, so it’s easy to lose track between, for example, adventure or action games, learning and strategy games, simulations or role-playing games. As a parent, you may feel uneasy about allowing your child to play video games. After all, you always hear that they can be addictive or have other negative effects. But digital games can also serve important functions. As is usually the case with media use, the same applies here: The level and selection of content are crucial for responsible use. Age ratings provide some initial guidance.
Worldwide, Germany has the most binding legal rules for the testing and sale of video games. The protection of minors plays a major role here. Because, as with most entertainment, parents should make sure that video games are safe for the child’s age. The age ratings of the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) provide orientation.
For you as a parent, it is important to know that the USK ratings do not inform whether a game is already manageable or understandable for children. Nor do they constitute pedagogical recommendations. The USK age rating indicates whether the game is harmless from the point of view of youth protection, i.e. whether it does not contain any content that is harmful to the respective age group.
These USK labels can be found on every game package, every data carrier and usually at every reputable online store. The following age ratings are available:
Since January 2023, additional information has been provided in addition to the age ratings. These can be found on the back of the game packaging and in the USK title database. The notes provide information about the reasons that led to the age classification (such as “violence”, “pressure to act” or “drugs”). And they indicate which possible aspects of use you should pay attention to (such as “in-game purchases” or chats”). Here, the individual notes are explained in more detail.
For Europe, there is still the age rating of PEGI (Pan European Games Information) with the age levels 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18. Additional symbols indicate whether certain games address scary, violent or sexual content and the like. You can find out more about this at Spieleratgeber NRW.
IARC stands for “International Age Rating Coalition” and is a worldwide system for age rating online games and apps. Since these are becoming more and more important and the Internet knows no national borders, the institutions responsible for age ratings from different countries have joined forces and developed this age rating system. This includes a questionnaire that game developers of online games and game apps can use to independently rate the content of their products. In each country, this information results in a license plate that complies with the youth protection rules in force there. In Germany, this is done by the USK. Therefore, you can find the USK notices on many online platforms that use this system, such as Google Play Store, Nintendo eShop, Microsoft Store, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store and Meta Quest Store. However, you should not rely on this alone, as the USK only checks the game developers’ self-assessments on a random basis or in response to complaints. Additionally, use game reviews from educational platforms, such as www.spielbar.de or Spielerratgeber NRW.
Observe your child as he or she interacts with the content. There are children who do not yet understand content well, even though they are already suitable according to the age recommendation. There is nothing wrong with that, every child is different and develops differently. Just see if other offers are more suitable.
For many people, it’s hard to imagine everyday life without the online mail order company Amazon. Its video streaming portal Prime Video has the second-largest number of subscriptions after Netflix. Colloquially, the service is also called Amazon Prime, and several offers fall under this.
As with other video streaming services, Prime Video offers the ability to watch a variety of movies and series without being tied to a specific time or location. To do this, you have to register at amazon.de with your own Prime user account for a fee.
The movies and series can be watched via a web browser, the Prime Video app, or Internet-enabled devices, such as a smart TV device, game console, or smartphone. The subscription includes numerous movies and series for free availability, including formats produced specifically by Amazon. In addition, titles can be rented for a fee, for example, completely new series seasons. Amazon Channels offers the option of adding topic-specific pay channels such as Eurosport Player. Sharing a membership is not possible with Prime Video.
Most videos are marked with the legal age ratings of the FSK (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft). There is a separate section for children’s content. The series and movies that can be found there are divided into the age groups 2 – 5 years, 6 – 8 years and 9 – 11 years, among other categorizations. In order to be able to watch video content with FSK18 ratings, you must prove that you are of age with the help of your ID or passport and a bank account.
Prime Video offers some safety settings for children:
No matter what age – Prime Video has the hottest series and movies for everyone. Without parental controls, minors have unlimited access to content that is not appropriate for their age, may frighten them or overwhelm them. Many series and movies have an FSK age rating, but not all. Children and young people can watch these without hindrance, as the parental controls do not apply here.
As with many streaming offers, the appeal of constantly continuing to watch is also very high with Prime Video. You should make your child aware of this and set a good example.
By its own account, Prime Video uses the FSK ratings as the basis for its parental control settings. If no FSK ratings are available for very recent films or series episodes, for example, there is no information on the website as to whether and according to what criteria the age ratings are made by the company itself or by third-party providers.
Want to integrate Prime Video into your everyday family life? Then you should pay attention to the age ratings of the movies and series, set up a child profile, set the child or parental control options accordingly and use PIN codes. Protect your user profile with a secure PIN (no birth dates or simple sequences like 1234). Otherwise, your child may switch between profiles and go from the child profile to the adult profile.
To make sure the content is really appropriate for your child, preview the movies or series your child wants to watch. Watching a movie together can be a nice family experience. Especially with younger children (at least up to ten years) this is generally recommended, so that your child does not feel left alone with scary or questionable content.
Also, make sure that prime video and media use at all should be just one activity among many other pastimes for your child.
In our video series “You ask – we answer,” our media educator Melanie Endler explains why you shouldn’t leave children alone when watching series:
You can find more videos here.
“I have to call it a day, my battery is almost out!” – does this sound familiar? Just when the smartphone or tablet was fully charged, it flashes red again. This article explains which functions consume a particularly large amount of energy and how you can increase the battery performance of mobile devices.
Lithium-ion batteries are installed in smartphones and tablets. They store energy, release it into the device’s power circuit, and absorb new power via a cable. Do not allow your device to fully discharge, but do not fully charge it either. According to TÜV Süd, the ideal battery level is 30 to 70 percent. Leaving the device hanging from the power cord at night is not a good idea. More expensive models have a battery control system that automatically regulates the charging process. Use the charger supplied by the manufacturer, because then the charging power and speed will optimally suit your device.
Batteries are very sensitive components of smartphones and tablets. Protect your devices from moisture and humidity, from cold and heat, as well as from shocks and falls. This will prevent damage to the battery cells.
You can increase the battery life with the following tips:
To ensure that you and your child enjoy your device for longer, check the settings on the smartphone and tablet together. If you are on the device a lot, you also consume a lot of battery. Gaming apps like Clash of Clans and video streaming are particularly energy-hungry. Set a good example and be a role model for conscious media use. Think together about how you want to shape media use in the family and agree on rules that apply to everyone. Especially for younger children, screen time settings can help regulate time on the device.
If the battery is not enough, you can take a powerbank with you on the road. If the battery often runs down quickly despite all energy-saving measures, don’t buy a new device right away, but have the battery replaced by the manufacturer. This protects both our environment and your wallet.
The cell phone vibrates, a message arrives. But the click on the notification contains an unpleasant surprise: instead of a message from the circle of friends, an obscene photo appears on the screen. When people send photos of their private parts to others without consent, it’s called cyberflashing. For children and young people in particular, this can be very unpleasant or even disturbing.
New media offerings and technical possibilities make many things easier in communication. Sometimes, however, they also open the door to unpleasant phenomena. Cyberflashing is one such.
Mostly it is men who photograph their private parts and send the resulting photos – so-called “dickpics” – to women. Sometimes these pictures are sent to your own contacts via Messenger without being asked. More often, however, senders use social networks or dating apps to send their images, directing them at people they barely know or don’t know at all.
The problem has been exacerbated by functions such as AirDrop: This allows content to be sent to other devices in the vicinity – without the number or a clear name being displayed. So women can receive pictures from unknown and do not even know from whom. Why especially men send such pictures is not entirely clear. It could be a form of exhibitionism or a desire to initiate a sexual relationship or to get similar images back.
For those affected, receiving an unwanted dick pic is usually something unpleasant. Depending on the situation, the image can only annoy, disgust, disturb or traumatize – especially if it hits teenagers and young adults, or happens in a situation where others can still see the display. Talk openly and objectively with your child about the phenomenon of cyberflashing. If your child can be confident that he or she can discuss such issues with you, he or she will approach you if an incident should occur.
Receiving snapshots of your private parts without being asked is not only unpleasant – it is also punishable for the person sending them. According to paragraph 184 in the Penal Code, cyberflashing falls under the “distribution of pornographic writings”. This is not a trivial offense, but a criminal offense and can result in up to one year imprisonment or a fine. If you or your child receives a Dickpic, you should fight back. You can report the incident to the nearest police station. There are also online portals that make it quick and easy to advertise, such as the website dickstinction.com. If you suspect that your child is sending such pictures themselves, it is imperative that you discuss this seriously. It is best to advise your child of the possible consequences and the unpleasant situation for the recipient before it even happens. Therefore, stay in touch about your child’s media use!
To avoid receiving unwanted images, it is recommended that you check the security settings on your smartphone thoroughly with your child. AirDrop, as well as Bluetooth, is best turned off when your child is in a public space.
Your child should not even accept unexpected messages from unknown people. Some messengers, such as Signal, also offer settings that require people who are not yet in the phonebook to first make a contact request before they are allowed to send anything.
Whether at home or on the road – with the smartphone, access to the Internet is possible almost everywhere. There are different ways to connect mobile devices to the network. The WLAN at home should be password protected. Anyone who uses mobile data must pay attention to the data volume. Surfing on public WLANs means being careful with personal data.
WLAN is the abbreviation for the English term “Wireless Local Area Network” and means in German: “Kabelloses lokales Umgebungsnetzwerk”. The wireless local area network is tied to a specific location, for example, home or office. Data transmission works via radio and is limited to the area around the router location. Payment is made via a contract with a telecommunications company, often in combination with telephone and television. Many contracts offer a high or even unlimited data volume.
“Give me your Wi-Fi password real quick!”. Those who have guests often share not only the living room, but also Internet access with family and friends. For WLAN access at home, you should set a password and change it regularly. It is important to give the password only to trusted persons and to set up guest accesses if possible.
Don’t be afraid to switch off: set the WLAN provisioning times so that the WLAN is switched off for a time during the day, for example at night. Taking a break from screen time can be good for the whole family.
Caution: Public WLANs offer little control and security. They are usually not as well encrypted as the private WLANs at home and offer points of attack for hackers – keyword data theft. Use only trusted public WLANs and pay close attention to the correct name of the network. If you are unsure: as a precaution, do not share any personal information and do not log in to any accounts such as email or social media accounts. Avoid sensitive transactions such as online banking or online shopping.
The mobile data connection enables access to the Internet via the user’s own mobile communications contract. A good network reception must be available for this. When using mobile data, it is important to observe the data volume specified in the contract. Therefore, have an eye on your consumption. If possible, don’t download apps or watch long videos. Gaming apps also consume a lot of data volume. Additional costs could arise here. Check your app permissions: certain actions should only happen when you have access to a WLAN, for example downloading large files such as photos or voice messages.
The private hotspot (or mobile WLAN hotspot) works like a bridge: via it, the Internet access of one device is transmitted to another device. For example, mobile data from the cellular network can also be used on the laptop. This process is called tethering. A hotspot can be set up via the settings, but not every smartphone and not every cell phone contract offer this function.
Attention: If you activate a hotspot, it will be displayed as WLAN for all devices in the vicinity. Therefore, be sure to protect the hotspot with a secure password. Pay attention to your data volume and battery consumption: Video conferencing, streaming services and online games draw a particularly large amount of energy and data. If you share your mobile data with third parties, you are liable for violations of the law by the users, such as illegal streaming. Share your private hotspot only with trusted people in your immediate circle.
Children and young people want to be online wherever possible and access the Internet quickly. Set up a secure WLAN connection at home. With routers such as the FRITZ!Box, you can make parental control settings and set a blocking time, for example. Agree on rules to whom the password may be disclosed. Explain to your child the difference between the use of WLAN and mobile data and encourage him or her to save data. Protect your child’s data: talk to your child about the risks of public WLANs and hotspots and check the settings on the smartphone together.
Many families no longer rely on linear television, i.e. watching what’s on. Instead, people use their smart TVs or tablets to access streaming services – whenever they have the time and the inclination to watch TV.
The offer for children and young people is virtually unlimited and available at any time with streaming services and media libraries. Children watch movies and series partly on their own. This makes it all the more important to set the services so that they can only access content that is appropriate for children and their age.
Keep track of how much your child watches. Binge-watching can also occur among children and young people if they are not accompanied in their media use.
Youth protection measures are intended to prevent children and young people from having experiences that are inappropriate for their age. These are, for example, content that may frighten or disturb them, or unwanted contact by strangers. Streaming services must use certain settings to ensure that their services are safe for children and young people to use.
Each streaming service has its own parental control settings, which are adjusted from time to time. Therefore, we can only reflect a current status (December 2022) of the most popular services in each case.
Regularly inform yourself about current functions and parental control settings of “your” streaming provider. Many have their own information portals for parents.
You can find the parental controls in Prime Video either in your Amazon account via the browser (Gear: Settings) or in the app under “My Area”. Here you can set up a PIN, after entering which secured content can still be viewed. In addition, purchase restrictions and playback restrictions can be activated with the parental control. Parents can create their own children’s area on Amazon via the paid additional subscription Amazon Kids+. Read more about how to set up the Amazon parental control here.
Disney+ also allows children’s profiles to be created with a child-friendly user interface. In these, only content with age ratings from FSK 0 up to and including FSK 6 is displayed. However, it is not possible to specify preferences for certain age ratings of content. A PIN can be used to prevent the creation of new profiles. Read more on the Disney+ help page.
ARD and ZDF have implemented youth protection in two ways: Films, series and programs that are not suitable for children and young people under the age of 16 or 18 can only be watched without registration from 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. (until 6 a.m.). There is also a children’s section that displays only content suitable for children. As soon as this is left, there is a hint. Those who set up an account to use the media libraries can also make additional individual settings, such as additional age ratings, setting a code, and creating a personalized media library. More about this on the help pages of ARD and ZDF.
With Netflix Kids environment, you can create one or more kids profiles for Netflix. This parental control allows you to set age ratings for a profile, block individual titles, set up a PIN, and enable or disable autoplay. With a child profile, no changes can be made to the own or a
other profile can be made. The Netflix Kids environment does not only apply to movies and series, it can also be used to restrict access Netflix games. You can get step-by-step instructions on how to set up parental controls on the corresponding Netflix help page.
Technical parental control settings are particularly useful when children know about them. Talk to your child about possible dangers and the goal of the settings. You should regularly consider whether settings can be adjusted – together with your child.
Despite a parental control, your child needs companionship in their media use. Be approachable when questions or fears arise. And watch your child when they watch videos. Choose content together in advance – then you can let your child watch an episode alone. When you set media rules together, you support the promotion of media literacy.
You can read more about the setting options and detailed instructions in the klicksafe guide.