Online Safety – 26/06/24 – Pop Up Ads

Recent research conducted by the University of Michigan delved into various apps targeted at young children. The study unearthed a startling revelation, showing that every single free app and a significant majority of paid apps, reaching up to 88% (many of them masquerading as ‘educational’), were plagued with intrusive pop-up advertisements. These advertisements have been reported to have misleading marketing strategies and even be linked to potential fraudulent activities. This alarming trend sheds light on the concerning prevalence of these online elements within children’s digital spaces. The inclusion of these pop-ups raises serious alarms regarding the safety of children engaging with such apps. Not only do they employ manipulative techniques to drive product sales, but they also pose a threat by featuring inappropriate and harmful content. Furthermore, there is a considerable risk of exposure to malware.

As always, open conversations with your children about the risks involved with clicking on pop-ups is crucial. As well as this, look into the privacy settings of the devices your children use to see what you can do to limit the amount of advertising they see. Finally, continue to monitor the apps they use in order to see what they are exposed to.