Tips For Keeping Your Family's Mobile Devices Safe
Mobile phones have become an integral element of our daily life and communication. Teens are among the most avid smartphone users, with many spending more than nine hours each day on their devices.
Smartphones are by far the most popular mobile gadget, although tablets and portable gaming devices might also be included. Teach your children how to properly protect their mobile devices and stay involved in their digital security education to keep your family's mobile devices safe. Here are a few simple guidelines to help parents secure their family's mobile devices.
Devices are password-protected and encrypted
Most individuals protect their gadgets with a password, ensuring that no one can just pick up their phone and use it without restriction. Parents should also make sure that their children's gadgets are password protected. Some parents are resistant to passwords because they want to be able to monitor their children's gadgets, but you should assist them in creating one. Also, make it clear that as a parent, you must always have access to the device. Password-protected phones are less likely to be hacked and provide better security in the event that they are lost or stolen.
Another strategy to keep your family's mobile devices safe is to make sure they're configured to utilize encrypted data. Although encryption is enabled by default on certain mobile devices, it's a good idea to double-check your settings. When your phone data is encrypted, it's safe against illegal access—even if a criminal got their hands on it, it'd be jumbled and useless. Encryption is often enabled via the use of a passcode, screen lock, or password. Data encryption settings may be found under security tabs in your phone settings menu, so check the settings on each family member's device and make any necessary changes.
Review your smartphone privacy and security settings on a regular basis
Discuss the significance of privacy and security on mobile devices with your children, and go through the mobile privacy and security settings with them, including:
- Is it possible to make in-app purchases?
- When data encryption is turned on
- If two-factor authentication is enabled, app permissions, such as camera access or location monitoring through Bluetooth-connected devices, become available
- Settings for the lock screen, passcode, and access PIN
It's crucial to talk to your kids about why certain settings should be on or off, as this will guarantee that they stick to your security preferences rather than altering them for the sake of convenience. Review the settings on a regular basis since they might change when applications are used or new apps are downloaded.
Only download programs from reputable developers via an approved app store
Apps are often downloaded through official sites such as the Google Playstore or Apple iTunes, although they may also be found elsewhere. Ascertain that your children are aware of the differences between these app sources and that applications obtained from these trustworthy sources are typically safer than those obtained from sources other than the official app shops. If users come across a free program on a gaming website, for example, they should seek for it on the official app store rather than clicking on the external source. Furthermore, there is virtually never a genuine need to download an app from anywhere other than your device's official app store.
Another piece of advise is to thoroughly examine the program before installing it, beginning with user evaluations. Reviews may reveal security vulnerabilities such as excessive in-app purchases or exploitative advertisements. You can also learn a lot about an app by typing its name into a search engine and seeing what comes up in the results. Some applications include harmful software or programs that may steal information, hack into your camera and spy on you, or otherwise pose a security risk.
Examine which applications should use geolocation
When the option is enabled, phones use geolocation to establish your general position. Geolocation can help you discover nearby businesses using applications like Waze, games like Pokémon Go, and Google Maps. Geolocation tracking is usually innocuous, but it might expose your youngster to new dangers. When you use a geolocation-enabled app, it must ask for your permission to access your location.
Some applications obviously need your location, but there are others that have no compelling purpose to follow your (or your child's) locations. If providing your location isn't absolutely necessary, you should decline the tracking request. Some app developers may disclose or sell your geolocation data to third parties that are either trustworthy or not. If the app requires your location to work, you may tell it to just utilize it when you're using it rather than tracking your whereabouts at all times.
App settings on both iOS and Android smartphones allow you to see which applications are utilizing location data. It's a good idea to have a conversation with your children about geolocation and why they should be concerned when a family mobile app requests their location. However, you should check to see whether applications are accessing your child's location data on a regular basis. If a number of applications are constantly accessing this data, you may go through each one and modify the settings. If your kid only uses these applications sometimes, they are unlikely to notice the difference.
To regulate security on children's devices, use security tools and sophisticated router settings
You may be afraid that new risks may emerge even after you've talked security with your children and taken efforts to safeguard their gadgets. Manually monitoring their phones every day to monitor their activities is unrealistic, and your children will certainly despise it. This is where technology may assist parents in managing their child's gadget security and safety.
You may modify security settings for devices accessing the internet via your home network through your network router. Some router types, for example, are built expressly for parents who want to keep their children secure online. You can use these routers to perform things like:
- Set time limits for when you can use particular devices and when you can't
- Make a list of websites that particular network devices are unable to visit
- Use "safe" setting options to prevent all pornographic material
- Limit bandwidth to prevent network downloads
Some routers may also record a log file of everything that is accessed by each device on the network. Then you can see where your children are spending their time online. Additionally, practically every router can do web filtering by using one of the several free or paid DNS services available. You may also use one of these DNS services to safeguard your whole house for free by configuring your router to use one of these DNS services. Your router, like your computer and other devices, is only safe as long as you maintain your software up to current.
There are other parental control applications that may assist secure mobile devices that aren't connected to the home network. These applications may be downloaded and installed on both a parent's and a child's smartphone, providing parents with an extra layer of protection to keep their children secure. Some applications censor content, while others may send your position to another device (such as your smartphone), and still others keep track of things like sent and received photos and text messages in a log file. Some of the greatest parental control applications come with a big range of built-in functions that you can pick and choose from.