Mobile Electronics and Kids… Safety First!

New Mobile Tech = New Mobile Threats

Teaching Your Kids to Be Smart with Smartphones

Technology is always evolving, but kids’ fondness of toys remains a constant. And to them, your tablet or smartphone with its colorful apps and fun sounds is just that—another toy. With moderation, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Apps can make learning fun.

Image – Courtesy of us.norton.com/new-mobile-threats

But not every  app out there is strictly benign and beneficial. Just like anything you can  download on your laptop or desktop, certain mobile apps can be nothing more  than a disguised form of malicious software that’s out to steal your  information and drain your bank account.

To help  prevent that from happening, here are some tips you should know and share if  you have children using your mobile device.

Texting for Passwords

Picture this  scenario: A cybercriminal hangs out in a popular mobile game forum. Your child  asks for aid with a certain app. “Be glad to help,” texts the crook. “I just  need you to send the codes your Dad uses on the phone.”

Those are  your passwords or security codes. Now the cybercriminal passes along a link to a  site that’s loaded with malware. Your child clicks on it, and the cybercriminal  effectively has control of your smartphone and everything on it. While your  kids may know not to give out personal information, this text request seems on  the level. Inform your children ahead of time that it isn’t.

Not Every App Is Legitimate

In August,  2012, Google announced that it has cracked down on Android apps that are  “confusingly similar to existing products.” It’s a much-needed step in the  right direction for the Google Play Store. But that doesn’t mean fake apps  aren’t out there.

Before your  kids start downloading apps by the truckload, it’s a good idea to read the  reviews of these applications first. They can often alert you to nefarious  means and help you protect the little ones.

Free Isn’t Always Better

Free apps  that draw big downloads (and thus big advertising money for the developers)  have been around with us for a while. Depending upon your tolerance for these advertising  banners, this may be OK with you. But you should be aware that it could invite  unwelcome content, too.

As we move forward in this new mobile frontier,  some adult ad content that isn’t appropriate for young eyes is sneaking  through. It’s a good idea to use some parental supervision here.

Beware of Hidden Charges

Along with ad  banners that may contain adult content (sometimes without the developers’  knowledge), there’s also a trend toward the freemium platform—that is, giving  your game away and charging those who play it for upgrades or extras.

Again, this  model isn’t inherently sinister. Developers of these games need to earn their  money somehow. But as a parent or grandparent, you should be aware that some  less scrupulous people are hiding very expensive upgrades with unclear language  in some apps. The younger set may not realize they’re forking over Mom and Dad’s  paychecks by agreeing to get the weapon for defeating the otherwise invincible Glarmo  the Indignant Platypus.

Bear this in  mind the next time your kids say, “Can I download this on your phone? It’s  free!” Check out what it is, and what app permissions you’re allowing.

Norton Security – parental controls and safety Program

Don’t Wait for Trouble. Be Proactive  with Protection.

Tablets and  smartphones can make great technological toys for both the young and  young-at-heart. Just keep in mind that there are people out there targeting the  younger set’s more trusting nature.

With Norton™  Online Family, both you and your children can stay safe on your mobile  device.

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the Above article is a repost from Norton by Symantec’s email for safety and education –  family services on Oct 15th, 2012.

All rights and trademarks and images are owned or licensed by Norton and has no implied endorsement of RoadTrip Parenting or the author.

 

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