Smart toys and gadgets such as tablets, smartphones, game consoles, and the likes that are wi-fi ready, are popular gift choices to the younger generation this holiday season. However, as you give these brand new electronic devices as gifts to your children, you may also be opening them to the possibility of online vulnerability. For their safety, it’s always safe to make sure that their devices are checked for safety and security regarding unknown threats they could encounter.
One of the vital things you need to check is the device’s GPS settings. Although it is wise, (not to mention, puts one at ease) if you know your child’s whereabouts, these devices could also be vulnerable to hackers. Always familiarise yourself with the device’s location settings, and manage its geotagging so the location on the device will only have the city as its visible location and not the exact address.
Another one is the device’s built-in camera system. Although it’s something that is useful for your fast-learning kid, there could be a chance that they may share unwanted photos or videos with strangers in the internet. It’s highly advised that you switch the camera settings of your kid’s device into manual mode to avoid recording anything by default. Additionally, encouraging your children to resort to creating an avatar instead of their real photo is also a good idea—it helps conceal your child’s physical features, plus it is also kid-friendly.
Audio recordings in gadgets are also in default mode to many of the devices nowadays, so in order to keep their device secure, make sure to turn the audio recording off, same for the two-way voice communication. Keeping the communication feature in manual mode is your best bet in text messages as well, that way your children will not be prone to messages coming from strange individuals. As for cloud storage and other such data collected such as biometric data, it is always important to know how secure the cloud storage is, and if there is an option to refuse data collection.
Overall, as a concerned parent, you have to keep in mind to get a device that you deem will be safe enough for your children to own and use. It is also important to always talk to your kids seriously first about the importance of consent when it comes to sharing private information, and the responsibility of having their own gadgets. For everything else however, you can get Trend Micro Home Network Security which is the best defense against any type of online threats to all your devices including internet safety for kids, which comprises of setting time limit on game consoles, among others. If you want to learn more about the safety of buying your kids a gadget, you can take our quiz to see which privacy considerations you need to take note of upon purchase.
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