Thursday 10 December 2015

Ten top tips for keeping your children's mobiles safe!!

If you are buying your child their own phone or tablet for Christmas it's a good idea you make sure to go through this top ten safety check list to help keep them and their phones safe!

recent TLF Panel survey found that four in five parents believe technology and gadgets are good for kids, aiding in their development. The study also revealed that 38 percent of children between two and five years old own an Android tablet and 32 percent own an iPad; almost a third (32 percent) of these kids also have a mobile phone.

We know that everyone loves their mobile device. It helps them stay connected to friends and family, provides hours of entertainment, can help with homework and can even act as our own personal journal, filled with photos, thoughts and plans all in one handy place.

Unfortunately, due to their popularity, cyber criminals are now using mobile devices to steal people’s personal information, steal money or even whole identities. With these scary situations becoming increasingly more common, and with smart devices inevitably being at the top of many Christmas lists, it is imperative for parents to give smart advice on staying safe.

1. Don’t root or jailbreak your device

To root or jailbreak a phone means to hack it to take more control than the manufacturer meant you to have. And it can be tempting to try to get around the limitations of the operating system that comes with on your device, but this is one area where you shouldn’t experiment. Malware targeting mobile devices often rely on finding modified devices, because they are easier to infect.

2. Don’t download off-market apps

Finding new places to download apps can be exciting—especially if they come at a significant discount from official app stores! And while some off-market app stores are legitimate, they are often not as well-regulated for security and quality. This means that it’s more likely for a cyber-criminal to sneak in a dangerous app that could put you at risk.

3. Use your password power

Your phone probably came with some kind of password protection, whether it’s a pattern you have to trace, a series of numbers you have to enter, or the ability to confirm your identity by scanning your fingerprint or even your eye. But these tools won’t protect you if you don’t have them turned on! Make sure that your password features are enabled, and that you choose an easy-to-remember combination that is also not easy for someone else to guess. 

4. Require password approval for purchases

Once you set up a strong password, make sure that it is required for purchasing apps or making in-app purchases. This can help protect you from making purchases without thinking about them, as well as from unauthorised parties (like a friend or sibling playing a prank!) from making purchases without your knowledge. This simple step can help save you from expensive surprises when the bill comes due! 

5. Make sure lost and found and remote wipe are set up correctly

Making sure that your phone’s built-in lost and found features are configured correctly is the best way to find your phone if it is ever lost. Take it a step further and make sure that you are also able to remotely delete all of your personal information if it becomes clear that your phone is not going to be recovered.

6. Never share personal information with strangers

Connecting with new friends online can be lots of fun, but it’s important to remember that not everyone is who they seem to be. Never share personal information, like your full name, address, or what school you go to with someone you don’t know. These seemingly harmless bits of information can be combined to steal your identity, or to help a criminal find you.

7. Be a privacy pro

Take a look at the settings of your favourite apps, and make sure that they are configured in a way that protects your privacy. Some social networking sites, for example, can make it easy for people to determine where a picture was taken. If you post a lot of pictures from home, it can be the same as posting your address for the entire internet to see.

8. Don’t take or send embarrassing pictures

It may seem like everyone is doing it, but the reality is that taking or sending inappropriate pictures is very risky behaviour. If someone sends you pictures that you don't want or tries to pressure you into sending pictures you aren't comfortable with, tell a trusted adult right away. Even apps that claim to delete your photos, like Snapchat, are never fully safe from a potential cyber-attack that could expose images you thought were kept private.

9. Never say something with your phone that you wouldn’t say in person

When we’re using our phones, sometimes it’s easy to forget that our words have real-world consequences. If you start getting caught up in teasing, fighting with a friend, or otherwise getting carried away, put down your phone and do something else for a little while. If you find yourself frequently engaging in or becoming the target of bullying, ask a trusted adult for some help. 

10. Talk to your parents or a trusted adult if someone is harassing you

If someone is using social media or texting to send you inappropriate, upsetting, or threatening messages, talk to a trusted adult right away. Bullies rely on making their victims feel embarrassed, but their power starts to disappear when their behaviour is exposed.

Article credited - OPSWAT

 Illustration credit - Erik Erdokozi

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