In this post, we go through a thorough checklist based on our recommendations for how to prepare and what to do with your child’s first gadget, which were developed by Kaspersky in collaboration with Dr. Saliha Afridi, clinical psychologist. To make this challenge easier for you, we’ve included a link to download the handbook in PDF format at the end of this post.

What should I do before give a gadget to my kid?

  1. Create a child account
  2. Disable in-app purchases
  3. Install essential apps
  4. Adjust app privacy
  5. Use a digital parenting app (like Kaspersky Safe Kids)
  6. Set age-appropriate filters
  7. Block unknown calls

How do I introduce a new gadget to my child?

  1. Establish family rules and good tech-habits
  2. Create tech-free zones and times
  3. Promote non-tech activities
  4. Limit your kid’s phone usage during:
    • meals
    • bedtime
    • family gatherings and outings
    • homework and studying
    • hosting social gatherings
    • engaging in outdoor activities
    • morning routines

What online safety rules should my child know?

  1. Set clear ground rules about what they can and can’t do online
  2. Teach them privacy basics and tell them about the risks of oversharing
  3. Emphasize that they should never share personal info or login details
  4. Advise children to use non-personal usernames

What are the main online risks I should tell my kid about?

  1. Watch out for phishing scams
  2. Avoid unauthorized game downloads
  3. Ignore intrusive ads and surveys
  4. Exercise caution regarding links and email attachments
  5. Seek help if uncomfortable or suspicious regarding something online
  6. Use unique passwords, and consider Kaspersky Password Manager  for security

How do I help my children avoid online strangers?

  1. Telling them to say no to unknown friend requests
  2. Telling them to become suspicious if someone asks personal questions
  3. Maintaining open communication about your kids’ online activities

What online gaming safety advice should I give?

  1. Play with friends you know
  2. Enable a “gaming mode” for safety
  3. Download games only from trusted stores
  4. Ignore chat-room links
  5. Never share passwords – even with friends

My kid is being bullied on the Internet. What should I do?

  1. Listen to them without interrupting
  2. Make them feel both safe and understood
  3. Take screenshots of harmful content
  4. Discourage retaliation
  5. Update privacy settings, change passwords, block or report the bully
  6. Report to the school
  7. Consider professional help for stress-related signs

My kid is bullying others online. What should I do?

  1. Stay calm, gather evidence, and understand the context
  2. Get your child’s side of the story
  3. Help them see the impact on others
  4. Encourage an apology to the victim
  5. Without being overly invasive, consider using digital parenting apps
  6. Promote responsible online behavior
  7. Seek professional help if necessary

What questions should I ask my child to ensure their online experience is safe?

  1. What’s interesting online today?
  2. Anything confusing encountered?
  3. Do you chat or game with strangers?
  4. How do you choose what to share?
  5. Have you ever felt uncomfortable online?
  6. Are there any new apps or websites you enjoy?
  7. Do you know how to handle inappropriate messages?
  8. Have you ever seen someone being unkind online? How did you react?

How do I monitor my kids online without invading their privacy?

  1. Talk about their online experience
  2. Engage in their online activities together
  3. Use safety-focused parenting apps
  4. Explain why certain controls are needed
  5. Shift from monitoring to mentoring
  6. Stay updated on digital trends and share insights

What are signs of a negative impact of devices on my kids?

  1. Lower grades
  2. Less physical and social activity
  3. Eye strain, poor sleep, bad posture
  4. More irritability, withdrawal
  5. Neglecting hobbies, responsibilities
  6. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem
  7. Shorter attention span, memory issues

We’ve explored the crucial steps for empowering both you and your child in the digital realm. For your convenience, download our PDF handbook — a practical resource to help you navigate your child’s tech journey with confidence.


#Preparing #childs #gadget #comprehensive #checklist

Sooner or later (most) parents inevitably get round to buying their kids their own electronic device. According to Kaspersky’s research, 61 percent of children get their first device between the ages of eight and 12, and, perhaps surprisingly, in 11 percent of cases, they’re given their own cellphone or tablet before they turn five. It’s essential for parents to know the guidelines for introducing a device into their kids’ lives for the first time.

Together with clinical psychologist Dr. Saliha Afridi, Kaspersky is presenting cybersecurity and psychological considerations that parents would do well to be aware of before giving their kids their very first tech gadgets.

What to do before giving a gadget to a child?

Set up a Child Account before giving your offspring their first gadget. Whether it’s a phone or a tablet, it’s crucial to ensure the age-appropriateness and safety of the gadget. Even if it’s a brand-new gift, prioritize setting up this feature. A Child Account acts as a safeguard on the device, preventing things like downloads of mature content or songs with explicit content. For detailed guidance on creating a kid’s account, refer to our guide for Android or the one for iOS.

Install all the basic applications that support either communication or geo-location (like messenger and map apps), plus learning applications. And don’t forget to set up the privacy and confidentiality settings in each of the installed applications, so that the child, for example, isn’t discoverable via their phone number by unknown individuals. Tools like Privacy Checker can assist you in tailoring the optimal protection settings for various devices and platforms.

Remember to install a digital parenting app as well. This will empower you to curate content, monitor the amount of time your kid spends on specific apps (and set limits if needed), and track their current location.

How to introduce a new device into a child’s life?

Walk them through the device’s functionalities as well as the potential dangers when gifting them a new gadget. This is an opportune moment to explore its features and understand its potential pitfalls.

Craft a set of family usage rules together. In this conversation, it’s important to foster an understanding and consensus about the responsibilities and expectations tied to device ownership. To ensure a healthy balance, establish tech-free zones and times — perhaps during dinner or the hours leading up to bedtime. Designate moments for non-tech hobbies like reading, outdoor games, or puzzles, which can act as beneficial alternatives to screen time. Periodically revisiting and refining these rules as your kid grows and technology advances is key.

And remember — unless a kid shows a healthy level of engagement with real-life activities and in-person socializing, don’t introduce a smartphone or social media. One way they can earn a device is by showing that they’re capable of doing the “non-negotiables” regularly and consistently. These include sleep, exercise, homework, socializing, eating healthily, and wakeful resting periods.

How to talk to a child about online safety?

Encourage open communication from the outset. Engage junior in conversations about their online experiences — ensuring they feel safe to share both the good and the bad experiences.

Stay up to date with the latest digital trends and threats as well as high-profile cyberbullying or data breaches. Share this information with your child in a way they understand. You can learn the latest cybersecurity news via our blog.

Bring up the permanence of online actions. This includes how things shared online stay there forever and can affect their reputation and future opportunities. Kids should be especially careful about information they share about themselves: never giving out their address, geolocation or login credentials and passwords. Additionally, they should avoid using their real names as user IDs, as these can be potential clues for attackers to discover their other social media accounts. Help them understand the concept of privacy and the potential risks of sharing too much information.

Teach your kid that accepting friend requests from unfamiliar individuals in real life should be avoided. It’s crucial to explain that if someone they don’t know is persistently trying to find out personal information about them or their parents, it’s a cause for concern. Your child shouldn’t feel they’re being rude or impolite if they don’t respond to a request for friendship. In social networks, just like in life, there needs to be privacy.

By having such conversations and educating your children about online risks in a non-confrontational manner, you raise your kids being more likely to approach you when they encounter something questionable online. You should make sure they maintain a stance of curiosity — not judgment or fear. Your reactions will determine how open they feel about sharing in the future.

And a digital parenting app serves here as a valuable tool to enable you to monitor your kids’ online searches and activity, ensuring a safer online experience.

What are the main risks I should tell my child about?

In our digital age, kids are vulnerable to cybercriminals, often because they’re unfamiliar with essential cybersecurity principles and common scam tactics. It’s our duty as guardians to educate them on these matters before they inadvertently fall prey to them.

For instance, guide your kid in identifying deceptive commercials, bogus survey requests, counterfeit lotteries, and other schemes that can jeopardize their personal data. Help them grasp the reality that, while it might be tempting to download a Barbie movie ahead of its official release, offers like these could be ploys by cybercriminals aimed at pilfering data or even siphoning money from their parents’ cards. A reliable security solution can detect and block any phishing websites or any malicious software.

Instill in your child the habit of being critical and cautious when online. Teach them to pause before clicking when it comes to dubious links, unfamiliar email attachments, or messages from unknown entities. Discuss the appropriate permissions apps should have on their devices. For example, there’s no valid reason for a Calculator app to request geolocation access.

Make conversations about cybersecurity more enjoyable and interesting by discussing the topic through games and other entertaining formats. Most importantly, instill confidence in them to approach a trusted adult when faced with unsettling or suspicious situations online.

How to check that you’re prepared?

Once a gadget appears, your family’s life will inevitably undergo a transformation, as your kid will be drawn into the realm of the internet. Rather than forbidding it, it’s advisable to guide them on proper online behavior — if used correctly, a gadget can really help kids learn and grow. However, this can only happen if they know when and how to alert their parents about any online threats they come across – whether they’re receiving strange messages from adults, requests for personal information, or stumbling upon phishing sites.

Learning, however, is a gradual process, and it doesn’t guarantee perfection from the start. Mistakes will naturally occur, such as your kid accidentally downloading malware or engaging with suspicious individuals or struggling with screen time management. Nonetheless, your role as a parent is to provide support and assistance in their learning process. Only this way can you help your child be safe online.

To get ready for the challenge, we suggest taking a peek at our complete handbook for parents about getting your kid’s first gadget.


#Preparing #childs #gadget

When I was growing up, I never gave much thought to the communications between my parents and my teachers. Typically, there was a back-to-school night; if ever I did something wrong, the communication was made in a phone call from the teacher or principal; and there were letters/results that needed to be signed by my parents.

Now, if you were raised in the 80s/90s and are a little bit like me, there’s a chance that your parents didn’t always see these letters/results and the letters maybe had a forged signature or two. To be fair, karma caught up with me on a few occasions and my son wrote a note to his teacher once as well signing it with “Love, name redacted’s Mom”.

While my son’s note gave all involved a chuckle, in all seriousness, technology has now enabled communications between parents and teachers and also teachers and their students. Likewise, there are multiple ways for students to connect with other students. With all these tech-enabled communications for school, there are multiple “human element” fail points – so being a security company with a blog, we’d be remiss not to offer some tips to keep you and your kids safe and sound.

Parent to teacher

Who remembers the pandemic? You know, the one that introduced us to the lovely world of remote learning. At the time, it was nice to see how the educational system was flexible enough to embrace technology quickly and assure that the kiddos’ education could continue.

Fast-forward a few years to today and the technology still has a firm grip within the school systems. As a resident of the U.S., my children are now using Chromebooks vs textbooks and there are various apps that the teachers use to keep us up to date on progress. There are a number of these apps and they’ll vary from case to case, but ours are Remind and Google Classroom.

While these platforms are very integrated and easy, they still also tie into emails. So parents should be extra careful to make sure that the sender and the links within mails aren’t malicious.

Student to teacher

The above-listed apps are also used for students to communicate with teachers; however, they also have the added level of an internal email that could be used to communicate with the teachers directly. While email in Google’s ecosystem should be locked down and be more of an internal messenger, it’s good practice to let kids know they should be cautious of what they’re sending to teachers, as well as the links that teachers are sending along that direct them outside their school’s ecosystem.

Student to student

Perhaps the most tricky part of kids going to tech-enabled school is that we live in a tech-enabled society. This means that (almost) everyone has a smartphone or other connected device and the ills that come with them – including messaging apps, social networks, a camera and SMS.

Perhaps the biggest risk that we have when discussing schools and tech is the phones within the pockets of our little ones. There are simply too many avenues for sharing that our kids can take advantage of. As parents, we need to make sure that we have them set up with a device that’s secure. And before you say it, NO – the device is not secure out of the box, despite marketing messaging. You should make sure that you install a reliable security solution on any device your kids use to help add in a layer of extra protection. Here are some tips that can help further securing the phone.

Sharing is not always caring

This final tip is for both parents and kids. Repeat after me: Sharing is not always caring.

While many applications provide the ability to share what you’ve received via various channels, when it comes to schooling, this should be avoided. Also, as mentioned, our phones are the biggest risk to us.

We literally have at our fingertips the ability to broadcast our opinions, thoughts, pictures, videos…  even what we’re doing on the toilet in real time and to the whole world. Sure, this is empowering, but it is also something that could come back to hurt us.

This is a lesson we need to remember as parents and also to impart to our children. Being prudent is a huge part of life: not everything needs to be shared. We all need to take a minute to take a step back and think about what we’re doing before hitting send.

Now, before I preach to the choir, I’ll admit that I often post stupid things: you can see this on my X, for example; however, I still think before hitting send. As parents, we need to let our kids know that the stuff they post could not only get them in trouble (broadcasting fights, illegal activity, etc.), but also that there are things that could hurt them well down the line in the employment space. As they say… the internet never forgets!


#protect #childs #privacy #social #networks #IMs