While many parents worry about their child's online activity, many are not taking precautionary measures, according to new insights from ESET, the internet security company.
In fact, less than 4 in 10 (37%) of parents have installed any security and virus protection on their child's phone, despite the fact that almost 70% worry about their child's activity and 80% think security is important.
This is especially pertinent at this time of year as children are being exposed to technology at an increasingly early age and many may be expecting new phones or tablets under the tree this Christmas, ESET states.
However, parents must ensure that they are taking steps to protect their children on these devices, the company states.
ESET surveyed 1,000 parents of children aged 10-18 in the UK and found that while most parents seem to be aware of the importance of cybersecurity on mobile devices, they may be missing out on simple solutions that could protect their children online.
Of those surveyed, nearly 70% of parents surveyed had been or knew someone who had been a target of a fraudulent email or text, a danger that children are also exposed to and which could be prevented by a simple app.
Similarly, 68% of UK parents sometimes worry about their child's activity on their mobile phone being insecure, but do not seem to be taking the necessary and simple steps to counteract the threat, ESET says.
ESET PR and security specialist Jake Moore says, “Nowadays parents have a very tough job keeping up with the latest developments in technology and new threats are being discovered every day which could put their children in danger.
“While education and awareness are key, there are also some simple steps that parents can take to reduce the risks.
“One of these is ensuring that there is an up-to-date mobile security and antivirus app installed on all the family's devices. The festive period is a busy time for hackers and cybercriminals, so families should make sure that all of their devices are protected, especially if new phones or tablets are at the top of the kids wish list.
ESET has provided tips for keeping your devices safe over the festive period:
- If you've bought or are planning on buying a new device (phone or tablet), make sure it's from a trusted retailer.
- If it is refurbished, ensure that it is completely restored.
- Watch out for increased phishing email attacks in the form of Boxing Day or New Years offers; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Double check whether your devices have a mobile security and antivirus app installed and that they are updated regularly; if not, be sure to download anti-virus software for all your devices: smartphones and tablets.