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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:
Lovetocycle · 26/02/2019 08:25

The tech we use today will seem absolutely ancient when my toddler us in the work place. Saying that, I think more could be done to include parental control.

coziwozi · 26/02/2019 08:28

My daughter (5) uses her ipad on a daily basis. For the most part im very happy with the content she watches. She frequently watches youtube where we have set parental controls but i frequently keep an eye on whats she watching and we've had a chat about swear/naughty words and things she shouldnt watch.

JaSh3 · 26/02/2019 08:28

At only 3 years old my nephew was more adept at using an iPad than I was! At nearly 8, he now has his own.
Kids need to know how to use tech as it's now the norm but I believe it should be carefully monitored and use should ideally be for no more than 6 hours a day.

escapeveloxity · 26/02/2019 08:29

I think it is important in this day and age that children have access to technology. We've allowed supervised access up until age 10 and then they have their own tablets / smartphones - but locked down to restrict access. We have talked about online safety - this sort of technology is fantastic to kids, but like almost anything, there are dangers and provided you are aware of them and do your best to avoid them you can have peace of mind.

bevmichelle47 · 26/02/2019 08:31

Ours share a ipad, but they only use the apps that's on there. I do monitor how long they use it for because i don't think it's healthy for them to spend to much time on them. Has a parent i feel very nervous about how best to manage it. i regularly check, and have decent protections, but as they get older it is harder to keep a check on it. I must be old fashion because i'd rather have them outside playing than stuck in the house if i can, but then their friends have mobiles etc., and they sometimes use theirs.. I just hope that they are sensible and have taken on board the dangers that's out there.

moonray · 26/02/2019 09:09

I'm afraid I do not agree at all about children under twelve using mobile technology: I know for a fact that the use of it (mobile technology) often leads to problems such as ADD, learning problems, increased risk of depression and anxiety.
Not to mention radiation, as children are more sensitive to it and can develop cancer.
My children do not own mobile phones

juju3 · 26/02/2019 09:18

Need to hold out as long as possible so they can enjoy the simple things in life - but its easier said than done

CrazyTownBananaPants · 26/02/2019 09:27

My 4 year old has had his own iPad since he was 3. I was adamantly against this before he was born, but then he was born with autism and is nonverbal. Having access to an iPad has opened our eyes to all the wonderful things he can do, such as spelling and addition, where we’d never have known without it. He is only just beginning to play with toys so it also gave him a form of entertainment when he wasn’t interested. It is definitely the best thing we ever bought for my son. However, I have the restrictions set so the iPad can not go online except to download apps, which are password protected, i or my husband supervise him 24/7 (necessary for him with or without technology) and I don’t allow anything like YouTube. He has speech and language apps, reading apps, a couple of games I know to be safe, autism specific apps and drawing apps and that is all he can access. That said, I do worry about how this usage might change as he ages and progresses.

thesockgap · 26/02/2019 09:41

None of my children had a mobile phone until they were in the last term of primary school, so aged 11. They did have iPads from a slightly younger age but just played downloaded games on them (things like Angry Birds, 1010 etc). I definitely don't agree with younger children having unsupervised internet access.
However now they are older (teens) it is very hard to keep a check on the kind of things they access on their phones. I do spot checks every now and then but I'm not that tech savvy so I think the best solution for our family is just to talk about possible dangers - whether that be unsuitable or inappropriate content, grooming, or this latest Momo scare.

ncullinane · 26/02/2019 09:47

My kids do use YouTube on both a phone and iPad, I do worry about them clicking on things that aren't appropriate so do try and keep a watchful eye but I'm sure there's more that I could do.

Ganne1 · 26/02/2019 09:57

For security reasons, mobile phones can be very useful, but their usage should be monitored and checked ... especially at meal-times!

mutleythegooner · 26/02/2019 10:08

I limit my girls to 1 hour a day under supervision. I re-evaluate each year as they get older. They are not allowed their own devices only to borrow mine.

FrowningFlamingo · 26/02/2019 10:08

I was under the impression (possibly wrongly?) that smartphones and tablets are less vulnerable to viruses etc.
I do worry as my child grows older about scams, phishing emails which might be easy to spot as an adult but much harder for a child.
Mostly I worry about data protection and his safety online - whether someone could maliciously obtain his details online.

Cashy17 · 26/02/2019 10:13

I have found the mobile devices become an addiction to the point their demands and tantrums when asked to come off the devices has impacted the time we allow them to use it, so we have reduced the time the children are allowed to use our ipads, they do not have their own and we have restricted what they are able to access, so they have the odd game or education related apps for maths or english only.

I find it extremely alarming the level of security measures we have to put in place to keep them safe, but we also check regularly when they have accessed and also explained to them so they know we do this.

They both know if they click on something by accident or dont know what something is to come and tell us so we can check it is safe. So far we have had no problems at all. Their honesty with this has made it quite a lot easier.

Ririmka · 26/02/2019 10:21

It is certainly a worry, as technology becomes more and more an integral part of our life, it is hard to find the right balance. I plan not to give my child their own smartphone until he is a teenager, however I am aware this might have to change. Technology can both be a good and an evil, I think as long it is restricted and only forms a small part of the child's life, it would be a shame to completely deny a child access to the wonderful world of technology.

Keletubbie · 26/02/2019 10:26

I think the advantages of giving our children access to mobile phones and tablets far outweigh the risks. However, parents should educate themselves on the dangers out there and ensure that their children are supervised where possible.

littlemonkeyz · 26/02/2019 10:27

my son has a tablet that he mainly uses for making google docs and watching Mr Men on Youtube! I don't think he needs a mobile phone until he starts gaining more independence, walking to school on his own etc. When that time comes, he will probably have a device that lets him call people on an approved list such as parents, grandparents etc

azbi · 26/02/2019 10:33

I am concerned about the amount of time my teenager is on her mobile phone. It's very difficult to put limits on the time they can use it because you can't keep tabs on them all the time. Mobiles are very addictive for children and young adults.

Ellie2345 · 26/02/2019 10:35

I really dislike my children using mobile phones, sadly it's taken over their generation, I monitor their use, and what sites/apps they use, I used parental monitor apps on their devices, I do make them aware of people stealing their data etc and all the other numerous things to watch out and be careful on the internet

shellywkd · 26/02/2019 10:44

As long as it is monitored and time spent on it is regulated I am all forit. Kids need to learn to use technology in this day and age. My daughter is really good with hers and only downloads if she asks first.

sheilads105 · 26/02/2019 10:44

It's their future - let them go for it but teach them the risks.

hiddenmichelle · 26/02/2019 10:51

Mine have tablets that have security controls set. They are also are allowed them for a limited amount of time - with the exception of long journeys (makes my life easier!)


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ThemisA · 26/02/2019 10:54

There are so many pros and cons and making the right decision for the individual child is not easy. I think very young children do not need a smart phone but a simple text/phone call pay as you go for emergencies is sufficient and relatively safe. There is so much pressure and if all other parent's yield it is hard to deny your child. I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all but if unsure I use a local computer guy whom I trust.

mollysmammy · 26/02/2019 10:54

DD 7 was bought a 'Kid's Kindle' for Xmas 2017 by my Grandad. Whilst I'm very grateful, I would have rather him have bought a little DS assumed it was specifically for kids, however, it's just a normal Kindle in a pink case. I set it up and saw Youtube - she loves Peppa Pig and there was all sorts on there the kinds of horror movies I wouldn't even watch. I also recently some warped individual has been posting videos of Peppa in some quite gruesome situations, and they are still under 'family' as a genre, which would have been viewable even with the settings on. As she would have been using it whilst I was cooking the dinner for instance, I would not have been able to supervise. I decided to trade it in and we got a DS and chose lots of games, as by the time I would have been happy to get her one it would have been out of date, even then I'm worried especially with this 'Momo' thing. I think the use of iPads in schools means that younger and younger children are requesting them. In all fairness she prefers playing with all her Sylvanian Families at the moment (I'm sure I've vacuumed most of those little bits up!)

tiver · 26/02/2019 11:05

I only let my child play on my iPad on educational games and apps and I limit the time allowed. I'm dreading what will happen when they get 7 years old and other kids will have mobiles.

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