Essential Pittsburgh
7:47 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

App Certain: Internet Security On Mobile Devices

App Certain is an app which monitors other apps
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Many parents find it’s important to monitor their child's screen time on the home computer.

But they may not consider the fact that mobile devices such as smart-phones and tablets are swiftly becoming our most prominently used computers.

Spencer Whitman, CEO of App Certain says most parents don’t realize what their kids are doing on mobile devices, especially when it comes to apps.

So App Certain gives parents a window into the behavior of the mobile apps their kids are downloading.

"Every time a new app is installed, we send the parent an update with information about what that app does, and what it's capable of doing."

He says even for adults, figuring out if an app is tracking your location or finding personal information can be hard to know about, unless the app tells you explicitly.

"Almost all of the data is used for advertising purposes," says Spencer.

Which can be a double-edged sword. Advertisers gather user information in order to target the right audience. But because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), information from someone 13 or younger cannot be used for advertising. So kids learn to lie about their age to gain access to an app, potentially exposing themselves to content that's not age appropriate.

On the other hand, Spencer says App Certain informs parents of the negative apps as well as the ones which are positive, and educational.