A cellphone is a part of the everyday life of today’s young generation. Globally, over half of all children own a smartphone by age 10. As of 2020, the average age in the UK is 7, and in 2015 the average age for cellphones for children in European countries is 10. Generally, the average age for a first-time mobile device has not changed much within the past few years. With this gadget, they immerse themselves in a virtual world, in a language privy only to them. Unfortunately, their world is threatened by cybercriminals continuously finding ways to steal data and children are usually easy targets. According to the GSMA as of 2015, 85% of children use their mobile phones to access the internet. Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to protect your children’s phones from online fraud. From installing passwords to setting up remotely erasing devices completely, there are many practical and easy ways of securing your child’s phone.
Think Before You Click on Your Cellphone
Phishing is a tactic cybercriminals use to try to find out information about people’s personal information by sending them legitimate-looking emails encouraging them to click on a link because they’ve won a prize or something to that effect. Make it clear to children they are never to reply or click on a link from an email coming from a person they don’t know, even if it says they’ve won tickets to a BTS concert.
Create a Strong Password
Creating a password is an essential way to keep your children safe. It can prevent unintended access by our children’s peers to their personal information and photos that can be used to bully them online. Passwords also stop information breaches in your child’s phone. Encourage children to develop a strong password — this means not using their name, birth date, or anything personal that people can guess easily. If they play mobile games, their passwords should ideally be composed of characters, numbers, and symbols.
Your child’s phone should always have an unlock pin or code for extra security. Use a six-digit pin unlock code instead of the regular four if possible. This is simply because six-digit PINS are harder to hack. They should not use combos like 0000 or 1234.
Set Up Remote Erasing on the Phone
Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, phones get lost or, worse, stolen. Most of the time, it’s not the phone itself that’s the issue, but what’s in it — photos, emails, and personal information. To prevent possible identity thieves from stealing essential data from your child’s phone, turn on the remote find, lock, or delete feature on the phone if it has one, or use one of the many software like Spy24 and Drivestrike for remotely erasing devices completely. If the phone can’t be found, the data inside is erased, making it impossible for them to use it.
Install a Mobile Security Software
One of the easiest ways to protect your child’s phone is by installing security software on the phone. Security software blocks malware, phishing attacks, and dubious calls and texts. There are many security software programs you can choose from — Norton, BitDefender, McAfee, and Aviva, to name a few.
Vigilance Is the Key
Smartphones, when used right, are a fantastic tool for learning as well as social and virtual communication for our children. With the right mix of vigilance, common sense, and technology, we can ensure our children stay safe as they explore the virtual world on their smartphones. We at 1Route are doing our part to protect our children from online fraud. Visit our website to find out more.