Privacy and security go hand in hand. This is especially true with a kid’s mobile phone. Their phone contains lots of personal information that anyone who has access to it can see. In order to keep their information private, kids need to keep their device secure. With kids, the two big security issues are losing their phone or downloading a bad app.
According to Lookout, 30 billion phones are lost a year. In Seattle, we lose our phones on average twice a year. So far, my kids have not lost of device although one did go through the washer and dryer. But, at some point someone is going to lose a phone. Anyone who finds their phone will have access to their information such as contacts, pictures and messages as well as their open accounts such as Twitter, or Facebook.
The other threat kids may encounter is downloading a bad app. A report by McAfee found 1 in 6 mobile apps contain malware or spyware. Kids who love to download apps may end up with one of these characters. These malicious apps can do anything from sending annoying pop up ads to stealing personal information.
To protect privacy, make sure your kids are implementing these simple security tips. Continue reading
Occasionally I have a week where my friends are all asking about one particular website or app. I had a MyYearbook week followed by an Instagram week. This week it was Kik. “Have you heard of Kik? What is Kik? What do I need to know about Kik?”
Kik is a free mobile messenger app. With this app, kids can text friends who are also using Kik. Kids love Kik because it is more than typing messages. They can add videos and pictures to their text. They can also send Kik cards. These cards let them include YouTube videos, GIFs, or their own drawings in their conversations.
Kik is a fun way to communicate with friends. The problem is some kids share their private Kik username on public social networks. Kids post their Kik username on their Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr pages. Once someone knows their username, anyone can send them a message.
This app is especially popular among younger teens who have a limited texting plan or only an iPod Touch. By downloading this app, they have free messaging. Although a great deal financially, parents should know this app is aimed at older teens.
What do parents need to know about Kik?
- The new version of Kik is rated +17 in iTunes. With the recent addition of Kik Cards, kids can now share YouTube videos, images, Reddit pics and GIFs, and create sketches. The ability to share any type of content raised its rating from 12+ to 17+. Continue reading
The start of school is no longer about having the right jeans or the new shoes. A new phone is the must have fall accessory. The phone most kids want and think they need is a smartphone.
Smartphones are not really phones. Most kids will rarely use them to call anyone except for their parents. Smartphones are small, powerful computers with their own operating systems and programs. With 4G networks and wi-fi, kids can connect 24/7 to surf the web, watch videos, text friends, shop online and download apps. Smartphones are a computer in their pocket.
Like a computer, parents need to establish rules for their use. Most families have rules for using a desktop computer. Families need to set similar limits, expectations and protection for these pocket computers. If you have a new smartphone owner in the house, here are few tips to get you started.