How to keep your kids mobile safe

As you may have realised by the sheer age of this website, I’m old enough to remember when there simply were no phones in school. I grew up in an age when there was a First School, a Middle School and a High School. At no time did I ever see a mobile phone. Even in last year at High School, the mobile phone was just far too expensive and perhaps more suited to high-flying executives working at the London Stock Exchange.

A phone? At school? Why would I have needed that?

If I wanted to contact friends, I simply dialled their home phone number and asked their parents if I could speak to them. I’d also go outside, get on my bike and knock on their door. Having a device in my hand which let me talk to others from my bedroom? Well, that was a pipe dream.

At school our education was written on a blackboard. At best it was projected onto a white board or perhaps displayed on a clunky old Betamax video player via a huge TV on wheels.

An interactive whiteboard connected to the internet? A tablet for every pupil? Talking to other schools via a webcam?

That would have sounded like science fiction to me as a child.

There’s a lot to be said about technology in education, and I’m constantly amazed at how it’s used and what my son has learned thanks to it. However, as with almost everything, you have to use the technology properly.

Computer games, and I’m sure you’ll have seen them in stores and online, are regularly rated “18” but, because of peer pressure, your children encourage you to buy them. Blood, violence and swearing, plus an online experience via their console headset, it’s worrying enough, but it’s absolutely nothing when you compare it to what’s available on a smartphone.

The mobile phone is fast becoming an essential item for kids. They want one because their friends have them, and they naturally want to interact. As a parent you want them to have a phone too – but for slightly different reasons – for safety or peace of mind.

Whilst phones do let you get hold of your son or daughter, they can also open the door to a lot of dangers too.

Many, including myself, rely on the ISP filters to keep us safe. If your child tries browsing unsuitable sites on their phone, it’ll probably get blocked. However, if they’ve downloaded a seemingly innocent app for messaging, it could allow online conversations you can’t monitor. It could let others interact with your kids and send inappropriate messages or pictures.

Plus, with such an ultra-mobile life, how are you to know when they’re using the phone and when they’re not? Are they online too much?

One solution, which I recently tried out myself, is Kaspersky Security Cloud. It takes a lot of the stress away instantly by preventing your communications and personal information from being intercepted. The Kaspersky Security Cloud Family security will adapt and update for you, protecting your kids while they’re exploring the internet.

Sure, it does all the usual things that you’d expect an app like this to do. It’ll protect against viruses and trojans, but it’ll also monitor your connection and will protect you against theft. You can filter unwanted calls and texts plus it will recommend changes to your mobile to make it more secure.

You effectively plug all the phones, tablets and laptops in the household into a secure cloud. This will simplify and secure your web interactions, feeding all transactions through a safe and monitored environment.

In addition, @Kaspersky also offer up “Safe Kids” to track the location of your child. You can setup “safe areas” for this on an easy-to-use map and you can also monitor their social networks, calls, texts, app usage, web activity and more. Oh, and perhaps best for busy parents – you can also limit the amount of time being spent on the device too. All of this is done through a portal which is accessible anywhere.

As the Kaspersky Security Cloud is just that, there’s less load on your phones and computers. You get more space and a faster experience while web activity is securely controlled and monitored within the cloud-based servers.

Let’s be honest, setting up a security fence, configuring a firewall on your home router, faffing around with age ratings and trying to stay on top of all these gadgets is time consuming and tricky. With prices starting at £24.99 for a YEAR, you can offload the work to Kaspersky and protect yourself from the digital dangers. For £49.99 a year you can get the Family protection too – keeping kids and the rest of your family (up to 20 devices can be added) safe from harm while they learn and browse the web.

I know this is something I’m always keen to talk about. After all, I have a child at school who likes to use an iPad and often steals my phone, however we’re now living in a world where you do have to pay a bit extra to properly protect them. Just like wearing a helmet on a bike, I’m never going to say not to go out and ride, but at least when your kids are using the web, they need to be protected.