10 things you need to teach your kids about mobile safety
Today’s kids have a wealth of technology and information at their fingertips but that one device that gives you some peace of mind is the smartphone. We all acknowledge the benefits of staying in touch with your children, but have we taken the right measures to ensure they are protected against the most common risks when using a mobile device?
We’ve put together 12 essential things every parent should know about helping your kids stay safe on their mobile devices.
1. Set passwords
Setting a strong password is a basic security measure, but also helps prevent bullying, sexting, or breaches of private information. Encourage your kids to create unique passwords featuring numbers and symbols, and to change them often. You also might want to invest in a password manager.
2. Tape a recovery phone number to the device
In the event of your child losing their device (Yes it will happen!), having a contact number taped to the phone can help see it’s return to the family by a well-meaning member of the public.
3. Set up emergency contacts
If the kids can’t get in the house for some reason, they’ll need emergency contacts. Review each contact with them so as they know who to contact in the unlikely event of an emergency.
4. Activate remote locate/lock/wipe features
Enabling these features could help you locate your lost phone, as well as protect private information from being accessed should it fall into the wrong hands.
5. Install security software
Security software is instrumental in blocking malware, phishing attacks featuring dangerous links, and unwanted calls and texts. Norton Security is a reliable software that not only helps secure your devices but also comes with robust parental control software.
6. Turn off geo-tagging
Although useful for mapping and security services, you should talk to your child about when and where they should share their location. Emphasize keeping the location feature on their phone turned off unless absolutely necessary.
7. Know the school mobile phone and mobile device policy
It’s important to stay aware of the school’s policy regarding the use of mobile phones and devices. You may decide to limit how many days your children can bring their mobile devices to school.
8. Set up a nightly charging station in the kitchen or den
This is particularly important in improving your child’s sleep and school performance by avoiding the temptation of late night gaming or texting (something we may all be guilty of). It will also limit exposure to mobile phone radiation if your child tends to keep the cell phone next to or under the pillow.
9. Teach your child not to reply to unknown senders or callers
Scams, phishing, and spam texts — they can lead to racking up premium charges or giving hackers access to personal accounts. Go over the red flags surrounding phishing and spam scams so your children know what to expect and can protect themselves.
10. Set rules for new apps and games
The world is full of apps these days, most of which are not relevant or appropriate for your child. Make sure you review all apps your children want to use before they download them. The App Advisor feature of Norton Mobile Security will warn you of unsafe apps before you download them.
The best way to educate your child around online safety is to start a conversation about their internet activities, the fun apps they use or how their friends are doing online. This will help you to approach the sometimes-sticky subject of parental supervision while allowing your kids to be independent and safe online.