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Mobile spending tips for your family

Mobile spending tips for your family's budget

3/14/2014

It seems that many mobile phone owners are moving their online shopping habits from desktops to smartphones and tablets. According to a recent InMobi study, 68 percent of mobile users have spent money using their devices, and 83 percent expect that they will make another purchase within the next year. Meanwhile, mobile media accounted for 48 percent of their purchasing decisions, while media found on laptops and desktop PCs accounted for just 41 percent. As consumers - particularly younger ones - migrate toward mobile platforms, parents may want to create budget plans and advise their children on how to make smart financial decisions on their mobile devices.

Here are a few tips to help keep your family within its mobile spending budget.

Avoid installing unsafe apps
One of the most exciting aspects of owning a smartphone is the number of free apps that are available. However, it is important for mobile users to recognize that not all of these apps are safely protected, and some of them may actually cost money to use. For example, TrendsLabs found a number of fake Flappy Bird apps that may be free to install, but send text messages to premium numbers, which saddle users with unwanted charges, the money from which go into the pockets of malware developers.

Smartphone owners should avoid games that ask for permission to send SMS messages as well as any apps that appear inauthentic. Downloading apps that contain malware could lead to unexpectedly high phone bills, so it is important to research the safety of apps before installing them.

Enable privacy settings on phones
Last year, a British mother discovered an unwelcome surprise on her phone bill - 100 iTunes purchases ranging between €1.50 and €75, according to The Guardian. It turned out that her eight year-old son had spent more than €980 euros buying items from an iPad game. Fortunately, his parents were able to get a refund from Apple, but no one wants to experience this hassle.

The Guardian suggests two simple tips for parents to prevent this from happening to them. First, they should never give their iTunes passwords to their children. Second, they can create PINs on their devices. This is done through the "Settings" menu of an iPhone, and parents can change the "Require Password" option to "Immediately" instead of "15 minutes" to ensure that their children do not download apps or use apps to make purchases without permission.

Take control of your identity
Identity theft can be financially devastating for mobile phone owners. Unfortunately, fraud has become a much more prominent issue than ever before, and no one is immune to it. Cybercriminals are becoming stealthier in their methods of stealing mobile users' identities, so it is crucial for smartphone owners to secure their personal information to the fullest possible extent.

ProtectCELL's identity protection plan provides a comprehensive level of security that mobile phone insurance cannot offer. With ProtectCELL, smartphone owners can recover a stolen identity with the assistance of a dedicated resolution specialist and ID Theft Support powered by LifeLock.

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