How to find Parental Controls for Smartphones.

 

 

Creative commons picture – by Enricod – http://www.flickr.com/photos/enricod/6989554817/

October marks the ninth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, so I assumed there would be a few interesting posts about raising awareness about cyber security.

However – Today I read in the Telegraph, that parents are worried that children can get porn on their mobile phones….

While of course I do want our children to be able to use the internet and be safe – I feel this is slightly exaggerated or maybe parents just aren’t informed and unaware.

When they say mobile phone of course, they actually mean Smartphone – a smartphone is a mobile phone that is built on a mobile operating systems allowing internet connectivity.

I don’t really want to debate about why on earth these parents would they buy a child a smartphone when maybe the kids isn’t responsible or savvy enough not to click things that lead to adult sites, but porn is all over the internet, we know this. If they just had a normal feature phone that just took calls – then there wouldn’t be this problem at all.

If you really want your child to have a smartphone

First things first –  its your responsibility to speak to children about the dangers of being online if its on a smartphone or on a computer, children need to know not only what’s out there but the online etiquette.  Maybe too strong a word for children, but you’ve seen what they put on facebook – pouting pictures with their tops hanging off and foul language, talking about their next beer/girlfriend/snog.  No, not all of them are like that but you know what I am talking about.  Children need to be reminded that having a mobile phone of any kind carries with it some responsibility.

Parental controls 

Many, (if not all by now) mobile networks can block adult content sites on your child’s phone, there’s a start – call your network provider speak them them about it.  No, this doesn’t work if they are in a wifi area but these applications might help.

Applications to help your child be more secure on a mobile phone.

Android – Google play has an extensive list of applications like these, on a search for Parental control applications.

Apple does a lot to help security

On the iPad and iPhone there are parental control options on itunes, where you can protect children from inappropriate content or stop video chats.  And there are parental controls iTunes to stop them assessing adult content.

iTunes has many applications listed under parental controls

  • Kaspersky
  • AVG Family Safety
  • K9 Web Protection
  • Mobicip Safe Browser
  • Timelock
  • Netgear Genie
  • Bsecure
  • Parental Control by MountainDev
  • Kids-safe youtube
  • X3watch
Security Applications for Blackberry world …..

And the lists go on and on, I’ve not tested all of the applications obviously so I don’t know how good they are but I wanted to show you, that you do have options, apart from saying…. No, you are too young for your own smartphone!

One last word – remember also that many applications on smartphones you can play with anyone, they don’t even have to be a friend or someone in your phonebook and you can also chat with these people on the games.  So remember that when setting up permissions and controls.

Be safe and be aware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping kids learn about Virtual Lives – Gaming and Networking.



Tuesday the 8th of February 2011 is Safer Internet Day. 

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe to promote safer and more responsible use of mobile and online technology for children and young people around the world.

Insafe are Co-funded by The European Union.

This is the 8th year that Safer Internet Day will be celebrated, last year saw 500 events in 65 countries worldwide.

Each year Insafe chooses a different theme for people to base the activities on.
This year is its Virtual lives, and the slogan is – Its more than a game, its your life

Virtual lives: Online gaming and social networking, the two most popular online activities for our youth. 


The aim is to get the message across to children and young people that although they are hidden behind an avatar or a gamertag, actions in virtual lives can and will affect real lives.  

We all need to be aware of the consequences of our online actions, whether good or bad.

Children especially need to know how to be safe and responsible online and they can learn this the same way they learn everything else, with our support and encouragement

A few easy ways you can help

·                 Inform your school and find out if they are taking part.  
·                 Become a fan of the Insafe Facebook page – Insafe
·                 Become a fan of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Facebook page – CEOP
·                 Put the banner above on your website.
·                 Host an event in your community.
·                 Repost this blog.



You will find lots of information and free resources from these links

Insafe – www.saferinternet.org. 
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – http://www.ceop.police.uk/
I hope you can join in helping our children have the best virtual and real lives possible and also assist in raising awareness of this excellent event with me, thanks.

Facebook Allowing Apps To Access Users Phone Numbers and Addresses (update – not cancelled)

When you are going to allow a Facebook application now you might see this …


… as Facebook has now allowed developers access to your private information. As announced on the developers blog page on Saturday here.   See updated information at the end. 

As you see can see its not only allowing the application access to your basic information but also your current address and mobile phone number.

Of course you can just click don’t allow on the permissions page (if you notice it)  or you can make sure that this personal information isn’t on Facebook in first place, which would be my advice. 

To make sure you have not got this information to share with third party applications.

Go to 
  • Profile (Top Right) 
  • Edit Profile (Top Right) 
  • Contact Information (Left menu) 


If you have your private information here then, delete it and click save changes at the bottom. 

Facebook obviously isn’t interested in our privacy, we know that by now, so its up to us to be vigilant and keep an eye out for these things. 


Update, Facebook has now posted a blog 

Improvements to Permissions for Address and Mobile Number

They say here not that they are cancelling this (as some reports have said) but just postponing it while they make some changes to make sure it is more clear for users to see more clearly when they are sharing their phone numbers and addresses. 
Quote “We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.”