Keep Your Child Safe on Mobile Devices
28 September 2018
Threats are everywhere on the Internet and they pose a serious danger to younger users. Moreover, children who use mobile devices can be even more vulnerable because they are free to surf the Internet at any time or place, without adult supervision.
Here are some recommendations to help parents protect their children against online dangers reliably, without having to watch their every move.
Install the stuff but not the fluff
- Modern phones and tablets often serve as universal game consoles, and many children use them for little else. However, not all games are suitable for children: some contain scenes of violence, profanity or erotica. We recommend that you use the device’s parental control facilities or install a suitable security software to filter out age-inappropriate content. You can also filter applications by type if you want to completely remove games from your children’s "diet”.
It takes a village to raise a child
- Social networks are a serious source of threats. Children can indiscriminately add anyone as a friend, making acquaintances and communicating with people who might upset or mislead them, or try to get confidential information from them. To avoid this, it is important to teach children to filter the information they give out on social networks (for example, changing their privacy settings so that only their friends can view their profile), to remind them to be wary of strangers and not to add people to their friends unless they are personally acquainted in real life.
Caution is the parent of safety
- It is important to remember that some threats are universal and can affect people of all ages. However, because children are less experienced they may be more vulnerable to these. For example, they may not properly understand how dangerous a site or a file can be, leading them to download infected files or enter data on a phishing page. That’s why it’s vital to install a security solution that protects against viruses, phishing and other online threats.
- You should also explain to your children that installing applications from unknown sources can be dangerous. It is best to disable this feature in the device settings. And in no case should you buy your children a phone with modified firmware: it is vulnerable and potentially allows attackers to gain full access to the data stored on the device.
- In addition, if a mobile device is lost or stolen, the sensitive data stored on it may get into in the wrong hands. To be on the safe side, use tools such as the Anti-Theft module within the smartphone or provided by trusted third-party applications. These tools usually allow you to remotely block the device, to locate it on the map and to remotely wipe the information stored on it.
- There are parental control software that can “teach" children what is bad and what is good on the Internet. They can block dangerous sites and programs and warn children about the risks and advise what content can be opened safely and what should be treated with suspicion.
- Do not limit yourself to technical means alone! Keep abreast of new cyber threats and be sure to tell your children them about. Understanding the rules of safe behaviour on the Web and careful attitude to the information that can be shared online, will help avoid many unpleasant incidents.
It’s important to remember that no technology can protect your children on its own. Talk to them! Even the most reliable security solution is no substitute for conversation. It’s important to have a trusting relationship with your children, so they are not afraid to discuss their problems with you. Let your children know that you trust them, and that everything you do – including installing security solutions – is for their benefit and your piece of mind, which we are certain is also important to your children.
This article was adapted from ‘Keep your child safe on mobile devices’ by Kaspersky Lab, a member of the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance.