Keeping your child safe online when using their favourite tech
21st December 2017
With Christmas only a few days away, and mobile phones, gaming consoles and tablets being a top priority on children’s Christmas wish list’s this year, we have put together a list of our favourite tech for protecting kids online and some top tips for you to consider when purchasing this tech. How will you be keeping your child safe online?
1. Mobile phones
Did you know?
20% of 11-16 year olds have seen hate messages on a mobile phone
47% of 9-12-year-old smartphone users know how to change privacy settings on a social networking site
According to a report from GSMA, an astounding 74.4% of children and teenagers now own a mobile phone, and on average, their first mobile phone is owned by the age of 7. This number will no doubt increase during the holiday season as more and more children will have this tech item on their Christmas list. With this in mind, it is more important than ever, to be proactive when keeping your child safe online. If you’re thinking about purchasing this gift, you need to consider a number of things to ensure it is used safely by your child:
- Check adult content for filters: research about filters to prevent your children seeing content aimed at over 18s
- Install parental controls and privacy settings (click here to view Internet Matter’s interactive guide to parental controls)
- Restrict the ability to purchase apps
- Limit screen time
- Check browser history
- Talk with your children about online safety
Impero’s top 3 mobile phones for protecting kids online
- Google Pixel 2: keeping your child safe online is easy with their extensive parental controls, allowing you to fine tune access to all aspects of the phone, including apps, social media and web browsing.
- Monqui Kids Smartphone: an exclusive smartphone designed for children. It is completely locked within an ecosystem that a parent controls through their own phone, meaning parents can regulate everything their child can do on the Monqui phone. Apps can only be installed after an adult has approved them through a notification on their own phone and the Monqui’s location can be tracked remotely through the parent’s app in case of emergencies.
- iPhone SE: Apple offers a parental control system which works by restricting control for apps, internet browsing, camera, Siri voice interaction, microphone, movies, TV shows and more.
2. Gaming consoles
Gaming consoles today allow you to do a multitude of activities online alongside gaming. With so much access to content through one console, it is important to consider a number of things to purchase the console most suitable for your child. Online gaming has become increasingly popular and allows your child to play in real time with people across the world, with nearly a third of children playing online again people they’ve never met in person. This opens your child up to a number of online dangers including offensive language and bullying. When keeping your child safe online via a gaming console, you should consider:
- Age appropriateness
- Multiplayer networks: the player can compete against other random players over the internet and can communicate though instant messaging and or voice communication through headsets. This can be restricted by using parental controls settings in order to prevent your children playing against people they do not know
- Check the PEGI rating before purchasing games to ensure it is appropriate
- Check online reviews of games
- Install parental controls
- Limit screen time
Impero’s top 3 gaming consoles for protecting kids online
- LeapFrog LeapTV: perfect for young children as it does not have any access to the internet so a child cannot browse online. Children are safe with no external influences.
- Playstation 4: most advanced console for sharing gameplay. Great for older children and adults. Strangers cannot take control of the game unless invited and they cannot watch your child’s gameplay unless it is shared with them. However, these features can be locked entirely with the extensive parental controls.
- Xbox One: this all-in-one entertainment machine is suitable for teenagers upwards. Its parental controls use profiles that can be signed into, allowing different members of the family to have different restrictions. The downside is that it is not very suitable for younger children, as only a few games are appropriate for this age group.
Did you know?
43% of children aged 12-15 own their own tablet
3 hours is the average amount of time a 3-4-year-old sits in front of a screen per day
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics suggest that over half a million 6 year-olds own an iPad. This is 63% of all children aged 6 in Britain. The use of tablets is dramatically rising and will continue to do so as the holidays approach. Here’s our tips to keeping your children safe when using a tablet:
- Install parental controls and restrictions (make the tablet child friendly)
- Password protect the device
- Reduce screen time
- Supervise your younger child on their tablet
- Check browser history
- Talk to your child about online safety
Impero’s top 3 tablets for protecting kids online
- LeapFrog Epic: designed for younger children and focuses on education in a fun way, to encourage learning. Parents can tailor the tablet to their child’s needs and there is a timer mode that allows you to limit screen time.
- Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition: a special tablet built for children. It is limited to age appropriate games, eBooks, videos and apps and all content has no adverts, in-app purchases or links to social media. Parents can lock the amount of time the tablet is used and restrict game time until the device has been used to read for a set time.
- Tesco Hudl 2: runs Google’s Android operating system, which means full access to the Google Play Store. This tablet comes pre-loaded with its own dedicated Child Safety application.
If you’re interested in finding out more about keeping your child safe online, click here to see how Impero Education Pro works with schools to helps children to navigate the online world safely through monitoring and detection.
Finally, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from all of the Impero team!