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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:
lizd31 · 26/02/2019 11:09

I don't think younger children should have them but, when they're older & going to school alone etc., they need to have one for their own safety but it worries me that children use them in school when they should be concentrating on their studies & socialising in their breaks

BL0SS0M · 26/02/2019 11:24

We are avoiding it for as long as possible as I think kids can get addicted to them v quickly!

liamell · 26/02/2019 11:36

My dear children are limited on how often they can use their devices. In a world where safety is paramount with children, I have had to adapt at how vulnerable they are even in their own homes.
Children used to be safe inside their four walls, yet now the whole outside world is invited in.
I check their accounts for signs of "friends" that aren't actual friends and I make sure that passwords are known to myself.
I regularly check whom maybe speaking through their gaming headsets also.

glennamy · 26/02/2019 11:39

I think they are good for security, but they should not be on them all day so set limits for gaming etc...

telgordo · 26/02/2019 11:55

we should be concerned about the technology and the effect it has on children

twinklenicci · 26/02/2019 11:56

My older children are aged 19 and 18 , my youngest is 5. My older two grew up with the evolution of the mobile phone and are more knowlegable than me, which is scary!
I think mobile phones can be a great plus when older children go to high school and are making their own way to and from school.

jantee33 · 26/02/2019 11:57

Mobile devices have pros and cons. Like anything in life children need to have sensible conversations and boundaries. My girls know to have phones on if they are away from me and not supervised by teachers or another adult. They also know the improtance of having a good sleep and enjoy talking and playing with real people. Like everything it's about balance and what is helpful.

WhiteKnuckleRide · 26/02/2019 12:07

I would allow my son to have a mobile phone if he started walking to and from school alone. I think it needs to be heavily moderated though and would not be comfortable with him using the phone to access social media until much older.

finleypop · 26/02/2019 12:17

My son had a basic call/text only phone aged 9 - 11 so if he was playing out, I could always contact him.
When he started high school, he wanted more features & I thought that was a reasonable age to allow him a phone with internet access etc. It is locked from going above the data & call allowance limits

moosexxx · 26/02/2019 12:18

TBH we've struggled with this.
We've allowed our eldest to have one now that he is in secondary school. With the caveat that he tells before, or after he phones/texts his friends. And that if someone he does not know contacts him, he will tell us straight away.
With told our youngest that when he goes to secondary school, he to can have a phone.

andywedge · 26/02/2019 12:26

It's the way of the modern world and if we prevent them then we are being dinosaurs; although I do think they should be supervised

skai1 · 26/02/2019 12:36

At this moment in time, nobody knows what dangers there are with using mobile phones,as regards to damaging your brain. I think it is up to the parents to say yes or no, my wife and I were invited to a Barbeque last Summer and the amount of children sitting down and checking their phones were mindblowing, no children running around playing games, just stuck looking like zombies? I truly believe this type of behavior will send Mankind in a different direction to what we should be heading.

cheltu14 · 26/02/2019 12:45

Both my dd's have tablets but I make sure I limit the time they use them for.

gd2011 · 26/02/2019 12:53

Resist as long as possible then ensure you have good parental control software

darcieB14 · 26/02/2019 12:55

I think that whilst the internet does have good and bad points, children need to be closely monitored on what they are watching and also the amount of times spent of these gadgets. With the increasing use of technology it is all too easy to become disconnected from the 'real world'

janeyf1 · 26/02/2019 12:57

I am more relaxed about children using mobile devices than I used to be, but it is with reluctant acceptance. It is fine as long as we check they don't get too addicted, setting timelimits in the evening and banning it during school lessons of course. I think over 10 is age appropriate to have a smartphone as long as their is frequent supervision

southernsun · 26/02/2019 13:01

No problem with them using smartphones or tablets but only under supervision. Technology is a massive part of everyday life so we want our two sons to have access to it but to learn and appreciate that there are rules and things to be aware of to stay safe. We set a time limit on how much screen time they can have a day and a ban on anything online while not being supervised.

Emmax12 · 26/02/2019 13:09

I think keeping kids away from phones means they want them even more. My daughter goes on my phone and tablet supervised and it will continue that way for the near future. I’m not sure when she will get her own one

maureen3733 · 26/02/2019 13:12

i think phones play an important part on safety of our children coz we can contact them at any time

MrsRix32 · 26/02/2019 13:20

I think it's ok once they reach secondary school, as they are old enough to walk to school on their own and have more of a sense of responsibility, I have set the phones up to ensure that they cannot download any apps without first getting authorisation from myself or my DH.

AuFinch · 26/02/2019 13:28

As with everything for kids, I think its a mix of trust, being made aware of negatives and dangers, but also allowing them to have fun.

Our son has had a phone and tablet since he was 10 as we felt he was responsible enough to look after them properly, and at that time knew full well the dangers of speaking to strangers and giving out information.

Luckily he is not into the games that require lots of payments to continue playing or make the game more complete! In fact I think our talking about it to him over our teas at night seems to have made him turn into a savvy internet user - often he will say its not worth bothering with a certain game after researching it online and seeing how much money you need to play it (and he has his own money so could use it if he wanted).

As for the antivirus software now he is doing A levels and one of those is computer studies he is the one everyone in the family goes to on advice how to protect our computers and tablets - its lovely he has grown into a young man now that will research things first and I think all of this he would have missed out on if we had not let him have a phone/tablet/computer to access the internet. There is bad stuff out there but if you educate your kids on the perils that can happen over the internet and always restrict their access suitable to their age then they can have fun and develop their skills.

CrabsticksComp · 26/02/2019 13:29

Keeping access to "smart" tech very restricted. Let them learn to read a map before using google maps


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smhumm · 26/02/2019 13:40

It's fine, after they're a cerain age

AdamBarlowsQuiff · 26/02/2019 13:42

I think that ideally children should only have access to mobile tech when an adult is present but this can be difficult in practice. My ten year old has her own laptop but did not yet have a phone. The laptop is used for educational apps and also games that we have approved. She has started to send emails to family members. I have put parental restrictions on it so she can't get on YouTube or anything else I'm dubious of. It also has anti virus on there.
Her school are very hot on warning kids about online safety. They are repeatedly told about both virus issues and grooming- in a way which is appropriate for their age.

devito92 · 26/02/2019 13:46

A phone is there for emergency use only, whilst away from home. However when at home i do allow them to message there friends, whilst I can keep an eye on whats going on

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