Less than 4 in 10 UK parents have installed security protection on their child’s phone

The lack of protection on children’s mobile devices leaves them vulnerable to cybercrime

A new study by global cybersecurity firm ESET has revealed that while a majority of parents are worried about the security of their child’s online activity, less than 4 in 10 parents have actually installed any virus or security protection on their child’s mobile device.

According to research from Internet Matters, the average age that British children are being given their own mobile phone is 10. With exposure to technology taking place and an increasingly early age, parents must ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect their children when using such devices. In a survey of 1,000 parents to children aged 10-18, ESET found that while 80% of parents think cybersecurity is important, more than half of parents had never installed security protection on their personal devices, and even less (37%) had done so on their child’s mobile phone.

The study shows that while parents are wise to the dangers of cyberspace, most are not aware of the simple solutions that could protect their children online. Interestingly, almost 70% of parents surveyed had been, or knew someone who had been, targeted by a fraudulent email or text – a danger that children are exposed to but which could be prevented by a simple app. On top of this, 68% of UK parents worry about their child’s mobile phones being insecure, but are not taking the necessary steps to combat such threats.

In related news: Secondhand devices put children at risk, claims global cybersecurity firm

“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,” said Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET. “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. With many new phones and devices bought over the Christmas period, families should make sure that all of their devices are protected.”

Here are ESET’s top tips for protecting your family’s new devices:

– If you have purchased or are planning to purchase a new device (phone or tablet), ensure you are buying from a trusted retailer
– If it is a refurbished device, ensure it has been completely restored so all threats have been removed
– Watch out for phishing email attacks – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
– Check that your devices have a mobile security and antivirus app installed and that they’re updated regularly

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