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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:
Smotheroffive · 13/03/2019 22:43

What guarantees that all this info is going to be used to safeguard DC. I am shocked at the information DPs will share about vulnerabilities in DC for a few hundred quid

They offer no guarantee of how this information will be used to exploit

TomHardysCardy · 13/03/2019 23:05

my girls have tablets, and the older ones have mobiles they are all limited to a few hours a day.

I do think that it is important to discuss online safety with them and I do have access to all their devices so I can monitor what they are up to. Fortunately they are quite sensible and all have other interests outside of technology

PhilTB54 · 13/03/2019 23:12

All are parental controls activated plus extra safety features. We know their pins & can check whenever . Knowledge of how spyware etc works so they don't open anything they don't know.

baconbap · 13/03/2019 23:15

don't let them use them till they're older

paddington18 · 13/03/2019 23:22

My baby is obvious too young for these devices at the moment but it is a something that I know I will have to consider as he grows up. In an ideal world I'd shield him from mobile devices etc... but I know that that would be doing him no favours. I think from an educational point of view he will need access to a tablet but I am very wary of social media and such.

tubbyj · 14/03/2019 00:19

Technology is an important part of life, so use of tablets from a young age under suitable monitoring. Phones without full social media from the age you start sleepovers, walking to school and you need to be in touch with them.

robyn297 · 14/03/2019 01:25

I don't really like it, but I do think its something that we have to learn to live with. I wouldn't want them to fall behind at school if they didn't have the skills or know how. We are always close by when they use their tablets.

JayJay1874 · 14/03/2019 01:31

Mobile devices are an amazing tool for safety and security so there is a place for them, even with pretty young children. There is a complacency though about mobiles compared to computers though.

On computers, you're often quick to think about virus software, time limits, parental controls, but that often goes out the window with phones as you forget that you can access everything on it that you can on a pc.

Rules and guidelines, software assisted, is essential to ensure a safe, suitable use of mobiles with the wee ones.

Smotheroffive · 14/03/2019 03:17

Mobile devices are an amazing tool for safety and security
Couldn't disagree more, they are completely open to abuse, and tracking and difficult to keep safe, just the same as any computer. If you're on the internet you're open to online abuses potentially.

poppypants · 14/03/2019 06:36

Mobile phones are essential, helpful as long as it's supervised and safe

molly57 · 14/03/2019 08:03

Supervised use at all times up until aged 12 and not before 5 years old. Also not to be used or taken to school until over 16 years

tabbaz123 · 14/03/2019 08:15

Love it or Loathe it - Technology is here to stay and therefore we have to embrace it in the safest ways we can. There are many different things we can do to take action to 'protect' and 'limit' the use of mobile devices and we should all be educated enough to do this. After that we can do no more.......There is danger EVERYWHERE in all walks of life and as parents we can only do our best to protect and shield wherever possible

purplaa · 14/03/2019 10:03

I think as long as safety features and parental controls can be used effectively, then children having access is perfectly okay (in moderation) :)

myboycraig · 14/03/2019 10:41

First of all, I believe it is entirely up to the parent how they introduce technology to kids. It's not all bad and can be very educational.

I have a 15 year old DS who has laptop, samsung galaxy mobile phone and xbox. I check his phone and laptop regularly including any messages etc. to friends. That was our deal. DS had his first very basic mobile phone at 7 years old but only so he can contact me and I could contact him when out playing there was no access to the internet.

I also have a 2 year old and 4 month old. At present they both don't go near any mobile phones or laptops and I don't own a tablet or ipad. My 2 year old does however watch Bob the Train once or twice a day on tv while I sit and supervise.

noynoyavery1 · 14/03/2019 12:16

Depends on age and what mobile device it is Wouldn't let anyone under 11 have one, who are they going to call Ghostbusters? At 11 they start to walk To school on their own , so it's handy for that. Also a tablet is mobile device, those are handy for car trips. road trips etc, just limit them if they are younger

VickyRsuperstar · 14/03/2019 12:38

My eldest kids had phones when they started at secondary school as they had to travel on buses when I wasn't there and I felt happier that they were able to keep in touch with me, but as phones became more common with younger children I gave one of my children a phone at 8 as she used it to help with her homework and look at craft videos, she also plays games on it. I do take the phone off my daughter at night "to charge it" but also so I know that she isn't using it instead of sleeping. It's much harder with older kids as I've found you can't get near their phones to check whether everything they are viewing is suitable or not. Online bullying through Whatsapp, Facebook and Snapchat is quite a concern, but so far we haven't had any problems yet. I think it's important for young children to be using current technology to improve learning but it is a minefield out there. Even the endless Pepper pig videos one of my daughters was watching on the Smart TV started running into unsuitable parodies so it's definitely important for an adult to be around smaller children when they are going online.

Bellroyd · 14/03/2019 17:37

I think this is one area where 'old-school' thinking works best. It is a parent's responsibility to keep their children safe and mobile devices and particularly their over-use lay them open to just too many sources of dangerous content.

If youngsters spend a disproportionate amount of time away from traditional contact with real-life humans, then we will have failed in our duty to give them a fully-rounded upbringing to give thm the best chance of making their way in the world.

bex552 · 14/03/2019 20:17

At first I was totally against tech, but I soon realised when used correctly ie under supervision they can be really beneficial. There is so many fantastic educational apps that really engage children imaginations and help them learn easily. I think as long as children are not left to watch them all day unsupervised then we should embrace the tech we have available especially as its not going to go away!

upthehammers · 14/03/2019 20:35

my 6 and 8yr olds use my tablet and my phone to watch minecraft videos on youtube but to be honest, im usually being forced to watch them too!

grannybiker · 14/03/2019 21:56

There are plenty of parental controls, but some parents lack either the knowledge or will to apply them. They need to take responsibility.

Kiddy Kindles seem to be the thing now and some of the games can help develop valuable skills.

As far as mobile phones go, giving an up-to-the-minute smart phone can actually make them a target for those who may want their phone. I'm not convinced that children NEED them. If they need to contact a parent in an emergency, the school office will surely oblige.

CatCatDog · 14/03/2019 22:55

I think you have to allow them supervised access on an age appropriate basis. Educate yourself so you know what you're doing because they're going to know it inside out!

DiWoo · 14/03/2019 23:34

My daughter was going from junior to senior school when we let her have her first phone as she was going to be using public transport, there was no need before that. She has since been upgraded to a smart phone, I can't remember at what age but she is a sensible girl and I felt that this should be taken into account. She wasn't allowed social media though until she was about the age you're supposed to be (I let her a little early due to her sensibleness and her overall attitude), she had to have her accounts private though and we had to be able to follow them. It has crossed my mind that she might have opened multiple accounts but you have to trust them at some point (and learn to let go and let them make their own decisions, she is nearly 17 now though). As for cyber threats, I hadn't really considered that she had anything that would be a real target I was more worried about unsuitable viewing (for which I have parental controls set) and cyberbullying


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phillw · 14/03/2019 23:44

Limit the time spent on their device. All mobile phones have GPS tracking enabled and also have parental controls.

Byrdie · 15/03/2019 10:25

To add my latest 'challenge' I've been facing... i signed up my child with my email on her phone and have access to all her messages - including a group chat for lots of the girls in her year. A friend added her on to it a few days ago. Very dull - abot boys and who like who, who is doing what etc, but I thought actually good to make sure it's all ok (and I'll admit, have a bt of a snoop!) however my child said she didn't want to be on any group chats and asked me to leave the group (which I didn't - just muted the notifications) but then she left the group chat herself from her phone! Think she's better than I am on her phone.

kelliec · 16/03/2019 22:03

The 6 year old is allowed to use our devices under supervision for short periods and it is dependent on behaviour. I think it important to be able to monitor online activity at all ages as there are a lot of potential threats.

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