My 8-year-old is a savant at lyrics and beats from current hit music (the clean songs only, I hope). When she began asking if she could have her own iPhone in order to listen to music, my wife and I balked. But then I came with what I thought might be a good compromise: I’d give her an old iPod Touch that was collecting dust, unused in a drawer.

Things are never as easy as they seem, though. First of, the device wouldn’t start up: it had been in hibernation for so long that the battery needed a major recharging. And once it booted up, I was horrified to realize a lot of my old apps (hello again, AOL Instant Messenger!) and old emails were still on the iPod Touch.

Whether you’re handing down a phone, tablet or music player, if it’s got an Internet connection, you’ll want to make sure you delete any apps you don’t want your kid to access, remove any email or chat accounts that might be lurking, and restrict access to web sites if you can. You might also want to make sure the battery on an older device holds enough charge to make it usable and whether it’s too old to run current apps. (Some Apple devices allow you to download older versions of apps that are compatible with older gadgets.) 

My daughter wasn’t much interested in loading the music player up with iTunes music we own; she just wanted to stream music from our family’s Spotify account. But that didn’t mean she didn’t see an opportunity to make up for not having an iPhone instead. When she asked for my iTunes Store password and I checked to see what she wanted, it turned out she was trying to download apps to make phone calls over an Internet connection.


Every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email ogallaga@statesman.com with questions or topic suggestions

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