7 tips to keep children safe on their smartphones

Research from phone experts at SellCell has revealed over 40% of children spend over four hours per day on a mobile device, leaving them vulnerable to multiple security threats and inappropriate content. 

With more Brits focussed on privacy and security than ever before, experts are urging parents to protect children from threats they could be exposed to. 

Experts have warned that with 12% of children first getting their hands on a mobile phone between the ages of one and two years old, it is important to have safety features in place to avoid accidental data breaches. 

Although 68% of parents view mobile phones as having a positive impact on their child’s development, experts are urging parents to ensure they are clued up on security features for their kids’ devices. 

With each iOS update, Apple expands its security and privacy measures. The launch of the new iPhone 15 this month will come alongside the unveiling of iOS 17. 

iOS 17 will include a feature that is set to tackle an ongoing health issue among American children by keeping screen distance in check. Due to increased screen time and children holding devices so close to their eyes, the risk of Myopia is ever increasing. 

The screen distance feature will warn the user when it detects the device is being held too close to their eyes, to deter children from staring too closely at the screen for extended periods of time. 

The new iOS will also provide parents with a feature to detect sensitive photos sent in messages on a child’s device.

Says Sarah McConomy, COO of SellCell:

 “With children receiving phones so much earlier in life, and having access to siblings’ or parents’ phones, it is more important than ever to keep them safe. 

“Security threats and access to sensitive material are natural concerns for many parents, but there are measures in place to protect them. 

“With the launch of the new iPhone and unveiling of iOS 17, Apple users will be able to make use of enhanced safety features.

“Once new software is available to mobile users, it is important to update as soon as possible on your own device and your child’s device, if they have their own one. Make sure to go into the settings and turn on all appropriate features to have peace of mind.”

Here are SellCell’s tips on keeping your kids safe while using devices: 

  1. Update software

Apple software updates usually come with a new host of privacy and security advancements to meet the concerns of the users. Make sure to complete all software updates and go into your child’s settings to turn on all appropriate features. 

  1. Passwords 

Avoid security breaches and data leaks by making sure your children’s passwords aren’t at risk. Make sure to keep a note of all passwords and make them different from one another. Although streamlining passwords across accounts is more straightforward, it can put a whole number of accounts at risk. 

  1. App monitoring 

Malicious spyware can be found in a number of apps and games which your child may download onto their device. Engaging with ads or pop-ups within apps can give them access to invade your data and private information. Make sure to monitor your child’s apps. 

A group of kids playing on their phonesDescription automatically generated

  1. Content and privacy restrictions

In screen time settings, you can block or limit certain apps and features on your child’s device. Parents concerned with their children spending money on apps or being vulnerable to explicit content can also restrict explicit content, downloads, purchases and privacy. 

  1. Ask to buy 

You can turn on the ‘ask to buy’ feature – meaning a child’s device will require permission before making purchases, downloading apps or signing up for any subscriptions. 

  1. Messages check in

iOS 17 will unveil a privacy add-on designed to ensure safety for family and friends by automatically notifying contacts when they arrive at their destination. 

  1. Enable family sharing 

Apple’s family sharing service enables your loved ones to access a shared pool of content. Through this, you can set up content restrictions, ask to buy, downtime and communication limits. You can also share your child’s location with all members of the family sharing group. 

Research: https://www.sellcell.com/mobile-phone-statistics/#mobile-phones-child-usage-and-parental-attitudes

Chris Price