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Parental Controls Don't Keep Kids from NSFW Apps

ipod-touchParents who let their kids browse the app store with parental controls to protect them might be opening their kids up for some naughty images. The controls have been found to keep kids from purchasing soft-core porn, but that doesn’t mean they can’t preview them.

In a report on Ars Technica last week, it was revealed that even a setting as low as 4+ (ostensibly limiting it to content even a four-year-old can view) only protects the user from actually making a purchase of NSFW images.

But the report shows “it does nothing to restrict browsing restricted apps via iTunes.” The preview screenshots available for would-be buyers are the problem – they’re truly previews, and many leave nothing to the imagination.

Meanwhile, a new Kaiser Family Foundation study shows seventy-six percent of kids eight to eighteen own an MP3 player, sixty-six percent own a cell phone. That points to a lot of kids using the app store.

The bug has been reported to Apple, but in the meantime, it’s a reminder that you need to beware what your kids are viewing even with your parental controls ramped up.

Image: juanpol, flickr

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