Privacy Camp

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Privacy Camp App Poster Image
Series of solid online-behavior videos lacks features.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn valuable insights about how to protect their privacy online and how to safeguard others' privacy. There are great insights about what's OK to share and what's not and how kids can talk to adults about good choices to make online. Privacy Camp is a good starting point for parents to talk with their kids about online safety, but expect to use it with them and provide your own extension activities.

Ease of Play

It's easy to use, though there aren't many options. Kids can watch the videos and earn gold stars.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Privacy Camp is a series of five animated videos about how kids navigate privacy concerns online. Topics range from basic online safety tips to digital-sharing rules to big ideas about digital citizenship. It's meant to be a source of information and conversation starter, so plan to use it with your kid. Also, there are no interactive features or reinforcing activities, so it may help to give your kids some opportunities to walk the walk and look at real privacy settings in apps they use.

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What's it about?

PRIVACY CAMP is a series of five short, animated videos that explore important themes about online privacy for young children. Each video explores a theme: "Secure for Sure" offers easy tips to stay safe online; "Sharing with Care" discusses best practices for sharing text, images, and videos online; "How to React to Your App" cautions against oversharing and in-app purchases; "Mind Others' Privacy" alerts students to the importance of getting permission when sharing images or videos of other; and "Manners Matter" addresses good and bad online interactions, including cyberbullying. The videos all include big-picture insights about the theme at hand, a series of important tips, and a catchy one-liner to remind kids of that video's central insight. After watching each video, users earn a gold star.

Is it any good?

The videos clock in at less than a minute each, and the catchy one-liners that conclude each (such as "being polite just feels right") are accessible and appropriate for the target age range. The themes on offer here are great too; there's a nice focus on digital life as an ongoing conversation between kids and their parents, and it's helpful to have such plainspoken advice about topics that can be tough for parents to broach with their kids.

Unfortunately, there are limited tools for interaction. The videos don't show a progress bar to indicate how long the videos are, and there's no captioning option or opportunity to pause, which would be a big help, since the child narrator of the videos talks very quickly, and it's easy for even a fluent adult English speaker to miss some of the good content that appears. This app would be even better if there were more ways for kids to customize the experience. In addition to more control over video playback, it would be great if kids could save or revisit the tips or slogans, perhaps by saving them within the app or sharing them to another app. Overall, Privacy Camp has some solid insights, but families seeking more flexible features should look elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Parents can use the videos as great conversation starters. Preview the title of each video and talk about it, asking your kids for ideas and tips for good online safety habits, sharing, app use, privacy, and digital citizenship. Watch a video, and then discuss what you saw.

  • Have kids make posters of the tips and catchy slogans they hear, and consider posting these slogans in your home, such as on the refrigerator or in the space where kids most frequently get online.

  • Check in periodically about what kids remember from the videos: What were some of the suggestions? Do they know what their settings are on apps they use? Have they had any experiences it would be good to talk to an adult about?

  • Take your kid on a tour of real privacy settings: What should they look for? How do they choose?

App details

For kids who love being smart and safe online

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