Keeping Kids Mobile Safe at School

*This is a collaborative postKeeping Kids Mobile Safe at School

Keeping Kids Mobile Safe at School

My children are not yet at the stage where they have their own tablets or mobile phones, although I am very sure the time will most definitely come in the future. But online security is something I think about that regularly. Whether it’s the content I share myself on the blog about my children, to keeping them safe when they look at things online themselves. At the moment, given their age, the only things they do online are supervised, but as they get older this, of course, will change.

I’m not sure what age I will buy my children a tablet or phone, but I know by secondary school most children have their own phone and take it to school with them. Where supervising your children online at this stage is no longer an option. So how do you keep them safe?

Times have changed so much since I was that age. There was no social media, I had my first mobile phone at around age 19. If times were tough at school, you were able to get away from things at home. There was no risk of cyberbullying, messages from people that want to do you harm, or viewing harmful content accidentally while browsing the internet. It is hard to be vigilant as a parent in a world of such all-encompassing information.

So how do you do it, especially when they are away from you at school or with their friends?

My Tips for Keeping Your Kids Mobile Safe at School

  • Before you give your child a phone talk to them openly about the risks. From cyber-bullying to speaking to people they have never met in real life online.
    • Ask them:
      • What they think cyberbullying is and ask them how it would make them feel if it happened to them
      • Explain why it is something they should never do and also talk about appropriate punishments – for example taking the phone away if this is something that they become involved in
      • Encourage them to talk to you about anything that might have happened online that makes them feel uncomfortable – always be open and listen to whatever your child has to say
      • Report any cyber-bullying immediately to the school and if appropriate the social media platform
      • Discuss the dangers of talking to people they have never met and how easy it is for people to pretend to be someone they are not. How it could be someone with an unkind danger that wants to do unkind things to them
      • Remind them this is only because you want them to be loved and safe
  • Tell your children never to post their location on social media or photos featuring their school logo in order to keep unwanted people from finding them.
  • Have an agreement that you will check their phones on a regular basis. This is a tricky one as it does feel a bit of an invasion of privacy, but again remind them this is to keep them safe and if they are not happy for you to do this then they cannot have a mobile phone.
  • Regularly check all privacy settings.
  • Buy an online tool such as Kaspersky Security Cloud Family which gives you a portal to protect your family’s security online on different devices. As well as an inbuilt security expert that warns you about threats to you, and when you are on a public wifi it also ensures that your data is not intercepted.
  • Also, remember to discuss the school rules on mobile phone usage and why they must adhere to them.
  • Finally, mobile free family times. Make meal times and some evenings technology free to take away the pressure and connect with one another.

Do you have any tips to share?

*An Update to this Article

As this post was sponsored by Kaspersky, you may or may not have been aware, that recently there have been allegations that the company has been hacked by the Russian government to spy on American users and access their data. This is something that Kaspersky strongly deny and the company founder Eugene Kaspersky has described the allegations as being “without evidence” and criticised the “steady stream of media leaks” which “seem designed to damage our reputation without providing us with any real opportunity to address any concerns”.

In response to the allegations, he has also written a personal blog and video on Youtube. Kaspersky Lab also posted a revealing blog at the URL Kaspersky in the sh**storm which examines the story.

Kaspersky are determined to reestablish trust with their customers and as such are launching a ‘Global Transparency Initiative’. Kaspersky has said:

“…we want to show how we’re completely open and transparent. We’ve nothing to hide. And I believe that with these actions we’ll be able to overcome mistrust and support our commitment to protecting people in any country on our planet.”

So what this the Global Transparency Initiative?

It includes an independent source code review to be undertaken with an internationally recognized authority; the creation of three transparency centres worldwide and bug bounty rewards of up to $100K per discovered vulnerability in main Kaspersky Lab products.

Kaspersky has also strengthened their partnership with INTERPOL to fight cybercrime.

Clearly, Kaspersky are doing everything they can to dispel these rumours and make sure their technology is safe. You can read more on their blog.

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