Consumer Alert: The best apps for Thanksgiving games and how to protect your privacy

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — This Consumer Alert is all about your Turkey-day family entertainment. 

And we want to make sure we help you find the best entertainment for the lowest price. Playing games with the family after dinner is the highlight of the holiday for our family. And my mother and I were always the ones in charge of the Turkey day team tournaments.

We gathered board games and collected prizes to give away. It was time-consuming and could get pricey. So I chatted with a tech guru with AT&T who said all you need for your Thanksgiving games is right here on your phone.

“We got the family together, and a lot of people like playing games. And what better games to play than the games right on your device,” said Jason Komenski, an AT&T area sales manager. 

“Every phone has an app store. There’s thousands of games in the app store, and I’ll give you my favorite one, my favorite game to play. My family’s favorite game to play is Family Feud Live.”

And so my family and I tried it. And he’s right. It’s a blast. Everyone from my 10-year-old to my 20-year-old thought it was pretty cool. But here’s the rub. You have to buy tickets to continue to play the game. Otherwise, it makes you stop for as long as two hours before it will let you play again.

And so-called free games also make you pay the price of privacy. So check the privacy label before you download it. The privacy label for Family Feud has a common red flag. It tracks your identifiers. This game asks to link through your Facebook account.

So if you haven’t set adequate Facebook privacy settings, you may be giving the App much more identifying information about you. The good news is the game allows you to play as a guest. So that was my option.

And the app is also tracking the unique number attached to your device, your device ID. That gives them the ability to connect the dots by tracking your device on other apps.

It’s easy to make sure the app can’t get your device identifier. Here are the steps:

  • First, go to settings.
  • Then tap privacy
  • Then tap tracking.
  • You’ll see a button that says, “allow apps to request to track.” Turn it off. 

After taking those steps, I felt comfortable playing the game. Here are five other family app games that several sites recommend.

Pictionary is a blast because you can hook it up to your TV. One caveat – you need an air pen. They’re on sale right now for $15 at Macy’s if you want to grab one. And always check the privacy label to make sure the app’s price for your privacy is worth it.