Pop-up advertisements in online games for Saudi kids

The growing use of tablets and computers by Saudi children has parents wondering how healthy their children are online, even on something so seemingly innocent as a game app.

In a viral video, a 7-year-old girl’s American parent explained how she was subjected to an “inappropriate” advertisement for a mobile game – featuring actions they disapproved of, such as “encouraging the player to cheat and lie” – while playing another game on the tablet of her mother.
The most chilling moment in the video falls after the disclosure of the danger of truth: the sport seemed to know exactly who watched the advertisement. The oldsters said it only came up for his daughter, who immediately brought it to their attention.

The parents then picked up the tablet and played an identical game all night, hoping to persuade the ad to appear to them but in vain.
The primary ad she received on handing the tablet over to her daughter was the unacceptable one in question.
The possibility that an unknown person could spy on what’s going on in their households has people understandably frightened.
Muneera, a mother of two, told that when she watched the video, that she was “beyond shock.”
“My blood ran cold instantly, and every single ad I’ve ever received on Instagram, YouTube, or flashed through my mind while playing mobile games,” she said.

“I thought about how many times I’d handed my iPad or phone to my son to entertain him with a game, and how many inappropriate things he may have seen I’m not even aware of,” she said.
“It’s hacking, simple and clear, and it shouldn’t be allowed. It is such a gross privacy violation, it makes my stomach just brooding over it.
But Saudi cybersecurity expert Abdullah Al-Jaber said the lack of proper parental control or knowledge could have contributed to the elderly being unknowingly consenting to be watched inside the video.

“The family has not shared enough about that application. It is true that some apps use and access pretty much what they (parents) intended. This is also why it’s important to review the app’s terms and conditions thoroughly before handing them over to your kids, “he told Arab News.
He said some parents are missing past permissions and failing to read terms and conditions during a hurry handy game to their excited kids, enabling ad companies to access non-public information.

Al-Jaber said in terms of preserving one’s children from harmful or offensive ads: “Use and encourage parental resources to see what the children are doing and what they are doing. Ignore free games with lots of advertising, and consider investing for peace of mind in paid, ad-free games. Also, make sure that the games are from the level intended for the children’s generation. It is not the best but it does improve.

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