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Mumsnet users share what they think about children using mobile devices with cyber security experts ESET

375 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 21/02/2019 12:20


Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become a part of everyday life, and children are increasingly using them. With this in mind, ESET Mobile Security would like to hear what your thoughts are on children using mobile devices and becoming vulnerable to cyber threats.

Here’s what ESET has to say: “With ever more of us living a life online, every member of the family can be left vulnerable through their phones or tablets and smartphone users with no antivirus software are opening themselves up to some serious threats. Whether it is virus software, dodgy apps or phishing emails, our devices are increasingly susceptible and it is becoming more and more crucial to consider how you can best protect your phones and tablets.”

When do you think children should have access to mobile tech like smartphones and tablets? Do your children have their own devices, or do they use yours? If your children are using smartphones or tablets what do they use them for? Have you spoken to your children about internet security measures? Have you downloaded antivirus software on to your devices?

All who post on the thread below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list) and one year’s free Premium subscription to ESET’s Mobile Security App.

Thanks and good luck!


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Mumsnet users share what they think about children using mobile devices with cyber security experts ESET
Mumsnet users share what they think about children using mobile devices with cyber security experts ESET
OP posts:
suzyq50 · 13/03/2019 07:58

There are so many settings to look for in phones & tablets to ensure filters are set or apps deactivated. I would favour an app that can do this for me in case I miss something out.

lorrainej162 · 13/03/2019 08:02

Children should be taught from an early age about all of lifes dangers, without being alarmist or scaring them. Smart devices are part of that education. If they grow up being aware of what they should and shouldn't do on line etc, and why, it should help them use these devices safely.

snare · 13/03/2019 10:12

I think it is important to rules and monitor what they are doing but it is an everyday fact of modern life.

chris20201 · 13/03/2019 10:13

I've increasingly realised that kids are going to be vulnerable whatever measures parents take. I decided a while ago to take every technical measure possible to protect them but keeping open communication about risks is just as important as they will always find a way of getting around filtering etc.

EllaAutumn · 13/03/2019 10:50

One of my children has their own phone (with no sim card) and I'll be getting the other one a phone for Christmas. I think it's good for them to get used to technology as it's usedbso much these days. They usually just play games and watch other kids on Youtube videos. I do monitor what they're doing.

pixelwife · 13/03/2019 12:33

I have mixed feelings. On one hand my 9 year old would be able to contact me anytime if he had a mobile - and he's been nagging for one for over a year now. On the other hand, I fear that this could open the door to him having contact with people, even school friends rather than anyone sinister, that if I'm not aware of, can become mean and lead to bullying. I'd rather him be a few years older and have the maturity to come to me with any concerns which I'd doubt at the age he is now.

Jocelynne123 · 13/03/2019 12:39

I think in this day and age children need to use them so they get used to technology from a young age because it's going to be a big part of their life. They can also be great tools for learning with all of the apps out there. But I also think children have way to much access. I think use should be limited and strictly supervised. As for mobiles I don't think there is any need until they start secondary school and become more independent

HarryT1993 · 13/03/2019 13:02

Don't see a problem with it as long as it is properly monitored and limits are set.

1969angep · 13/03/2019 13:59

Lucas is obsessed by Minecraft so would spend all day on an iPad if he could. He only gets to use it whilst we're in the room though (so we can always keep an ear and eye out on what he's watching/doing).
Tech is such a massive part of everyday life now that it would be pointless to try not using it!

Pretenna · 13/03/2019 14:17

Mine are too young at the moment for their own (1 and 6) but I do let them watch kids programs through the BBC iplayer app and play cbeebies games but it is all moderated (you can never be too careful after all!).

giddyypixie · 13/03/2019 15:26

My son has had a phone since he started secondary school and had to start commuting on the train. It was a must in our eyes, in order for him to contact us if there was a problem or some sort of emergency. They have plenty of lessons at school about cyber security and we have drummed being safe into him so I would like to think he is sensible with his phone.

Rachelp4016 · 13/03/2019 15:44

I think as long as they're monitored it's ok.

emmamed123 · 13/03/2019 15:56

my 4 year old had an ipad for, his 4th birthday because he kept using his big sisters who are now 8 and 13. he has special needs and he has learnt a lot from watching the youtube videos. oldest daughter has had a tablet for years and we gave her and her sister an ipad a few years ago. They play games on theirs and watch youtube videos. how to do make up is a firm favourite for our 13 year old.

8 year old had her mobile for Christmas, mainly for doing selfie videos and taking photos. when she goes over to the house opposite, she likes to text me or her dad and likes us to call her when its tea time. she doesn't use it for social media. older daughter had her mobile brought because she used to play on the other street, so we used to call her when it was time to come home for tea. she doesn't use it much these days, in fact shes only just started using it again after not using it for 3/4 months.

me and dad aren't big uses of mobile phones, mine is purely an alarm and camera and its turned to silent 24/7, it hardly goes out with me. one of my pet hates is taking the children out to say a play area and all the parents/carers are on their phones and not keeping an eye on their children or trying to cross the road pushing a pram with a mobile in one hand, surely its not that important it cant wait until you are home.

I think its down to the parents to judge when its the right time for their child. one thing I dont agree with is to give them tablet/phone if its just to keep them quiet.

wooohooo · 13/03/2019 16:56

I think Its up to the parent, they are the ones who know If a product Is suitable for their child, tecnology Is moving so quickly too
I remember my parents couldn;t work our our Video player when they first come out, I was the one as a child sorted everything out for them

nanoobaku · 13/03/2019 18:20

My son who is austic and non verbal relies on a mobile device to communicate so for us it's a godsend. He has learn so much from it it's amazing

Mariobug25 · 13/03/2019 18:59

I’m not a fan of children having mobile / tablet devices to young if they can use them online. My son plays on an iPad but he can’t use it online. I think children need to be of a certain maturity before they start using devices online. They need to be fully aware of the dangers that lurk online.

Kangakate · 13/03/2019 19:02

I think they're great for getting in contact and even being even able to track the phone.
I think the use on them should be supervised and only at certain times and not during family time

VelvetPineapple · 13/03/2019 19:07

My 1yo watches Netflix on my phone, tablet or tv. He occasionally watches YouTube but only if someone is watching with him, because I don’t trust the content enough to let him watch unsupervised. Our Android devices have antivirus but obviously our Apple devices don’t. Screen time is strictly limited to 30 minutes per day unless there are exceptional circumstances like illness. When he’s older I’ll permit him to access approved apps on his own iPad but he won’t have access to anything where I haven’t checked the content, including social media.

laurap1892 · 13/03/2019 19:45

My boys got a phone on the first birthday after they'd moved up to secondary school, now that they were going to be walking to and from school alone and wanted to be able to let me know if they wanted to go out with friends after school or stay behind for sports at the last minute. We talk a lot about cyber safety and what is and isn't ppropriate, and what they need to tell me about.

abigailflo7 · 13/03/2019 20:32

I bought my daughter her mobile for my piece of mind when she started secondary school and her having to use public transport to travel to school. I don't believe it's right giving a toddler an electronic device or tablet as a toy, it's far too young and could become addictive. I think it's lazy parenting giving a child a phone to "play with" What's wrong with interacting and actually playing with toys with your child

cathryn1 · 13/03/2019 21:14

I believe each parent knows their child and how they would response, our 5 year old and she has access to an ipad supervised but there are very educational apps on there

DoAllMeerkatsComeFromRussia · 13/03/2019 21:20

My lot are all teenagers- 18, 16 and 15. They have all had phones since they started secondary school aged 11, but it is only my daughter that has actually used hers regularly since that age. The two boys have only started bothering in the last year or so. I don't think phones are needed at all until kids start being a bit more independent and are basically going to be places that you are not. I haven't been worried about them being vulnerable as we have always had very open discussions with them about safety and they have grown up understanding this. I always feel a little uncomfortable when I see primary aged children with mobiles, so for me 11 is about the right age.


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MillyVanilli222 · 13/03/2019 22:13

I think it's okay as long as it's monitored closely, and accessing age-appropriate content. Learning to use technology can be beneficial, however there's a lot out there on the internet that younger children, and even teenagers, shouldn't be accessing - it's up to us to make sure their usage is safe and healthy.

blue25 · 13/03/2019 22:18

I don't think mobile phones should be allowed in schools. They cause too much of a distraction. I'd let my teenagers have a phone & tablet for home use, but I wouldn't let them have them in bed. I know from experience how much they impact on sleep.

Emmamaryd · 13/03/2019 22:40

I don't particularly like it but it seems to be a way of life now.

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