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How to Protect Children on Smartphones and Tablets

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The majority of modern kids have different gadgets today including smartphones or tablets. Parents need to make sure they use those gadgets safely. Here is how you can do it.

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR ON A SMARTPHONE With toddlers today being brought up on smartphones and tablets, it can often be futile to deprive your child of such gadgets while they\'re at school. But you can still make sure they\'re practicing safe internet habits, and aren\'t putting themselves (or your bank account) at risk by following the steps below:


The amount Apple had to refund to parents whose children had made purchases without their consent.If your app account is linked to your credit or debit card, your child may be able to easily purchase additional content in ‘free’ apps without your permission.


Check what apps are downloaded. Tinder The ‘hook up’ app Unlike other dating apps, Tinder allows underage people to use the app - with a minimum age of 13. In 2015, an undercover report by The Tinder Experiment showed that online predators are using the app to groom underage girls.


Due to Snapchat’s expiring-image messaging, kids might feel they can sext safely - sending nude or sexually explicit photos of themselves - through the app. Although the Snaps expire, the recipient can easily save pictures by taking a screen-shot, using external cameras or hacking the app. Yik Yak allows kids to post anonymously, sharing secrets or gossip with one another-though users are exposed to expticit content and bullying.


As they get more comfortable with other users, kids can start revealing sensitive personal information that could be used to identify them. Whisper – Because they can post anonymously, bullies can post pictures of other kids with abusive text superimposed on to images. Users don\'t have to register to use the app, and can communicate with others nearby via GPS.


Ask your kids why they want specific apps

  • Remove apps not comfortable with
  • Monitor what they download

Make the phone secure

1/10 US smartphone owners are the victim of phone theft.

1/5 US children have had their cell phones stolen

A smartphone robbery doesn’t simply involve the loss of the phone, but also any sensitive information that it may contain.


Set up tracking and data-erasing apps, such as iCloud or Android Device Manager

  • Buy your child an inexpensive or used smartphone
  • Install a cyber-security app such as Find Me iPhone or Find Mind Android

Set location data to private

  • Certain apps and search engines will access a phone\'s GPS and transfer the location data on to third parties.
  • “It doesn\'t have to be in real time to be dangerous [...] Historical data can tell you a lot about individuals‘ day-to-day habits and may indicate where they are most likely to be at a certain time.”
  • (Kevin Gutfleish - Head of Innocent Images Intelligence Unit, FBI)
  • If you use a family location service to monitor your kids‘ whereabouts, make sure only you have access
  • Discourage kids from using \'check-in’ services on social media
  • Set location data so that it’s not publicly available or searchable

Teach your kinds appropriate sharing

1/10 teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission

1/5 teens have either posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to other


- Posting irresponsible things can potentially have both immediate and long-lasting detrimental effects.

  • Explain to your kids the emotional and social consequences of irresponsible sharing
  • Create a social media account and link it to theirs to encourage them to think twice before posting
  • But the best way to make sure your kids are safe on their smartphones? Talk to them regularly about their tech use and keep gadgets out in the open

Ask your kids:

  • What are your friends doing online?
  • What are the coolest new apps?
  • What’s your favorite app?
  • What do you know about cyberbullying?
  • Have you ever seen anything that has made you uncomfortable on your phone?

Encouraging your family to be open about what they do online will help to keep them safe and give you peace of mind.