A tablet is a flat, portable device that uses touchscreen technology and sits somewhere between a smartphone and a computer in terms of functionality.
While tablets can be entertaining and educational for kids, careful monitoring and open communication is important, especially around the use of apps and access to online content that you may not want them to see.
A large range of child-friendly tablets offer age-appropriate educational apps and good parental controls.
What to look out for
- Children may be inadvertently exposed to content you might not want them to see.
- The amount of time your child spends on their tablet may take them away from outdoor activities or time with family.
- Social networking or messaging apps downloaded on smartphones may allow content sharing, messaging/online chat, photo or video sharing, video calling and live streaming.
- Many apps and smartphones allow you to share your location at a point in time or in real-time.
- Some apps downloaded on tablets may include in-app purchases.
- If the wireless connection or information storage is inadequately secured, the data and recordings may be accessed by other people and shared without consent, and may allow outsiders to contact your child online without you knowing.
How to stay safe
- Help your child to set a strong passcode.
- Consider using parental controls to block or restrict specific apps, features and access to inappropriate content.
- Set boundaries around the times and areas in the house headphones and headsets can be used.
- Install software updates as they are released.
- Disable location services when they are not needed.
- Secure your home network; it’s wise to change your wi-fi password on a regular basis especially if you’re still using the default password.
- Use secure public wi-fi hotspots if you’re out and about.
- Only pair via Bluetooth with another device you are aware of and can control.
- Help make your child’s accounts private on social networking apps to avoid unwanted contact.
- Remain engaged in your child’s online lives and let them know you’ll be there to support them if something goes wrong online.