As they have become smaller and more utilitarian, cell phones are increasingly showing up in the hands of our adolescents. The capabilities and usefulness of these devices is irrefutable. They allow our children to keep in touch with friends and family, they act as a form of entertainment, and they put the Internet at their fingertips.

All this access though, requires due caution.

Every app that you download will ask for specific permissions. A photo editing app may request permission to storage or the camera, a voice changer may request access to the microphone, and a flashlight may request location access.

Wait, why would a flashlight app need access to your location?

Data has become a commodity like oil, gold, or silver. The more data that an app or site collects, the more data that it can sell. While data mining has become a routine practice, not all applications or sites protect your data equally. If an app that collects location data, has access to the camera, and the phones storage were compromised, how much personal data of your child’s would they have access too?

When installing applications and providing permissions remember to Stop. Look. Think. Before granting any permissions, take a moment and Stop. Look at the permissions and see what the app is requesting access to. And finally, Think, why does a flashlight need to access your location, why does a new game need access to the microphone, why does a calculator need camera access?

These three, simple steps go a long way towards helping to protect your child and their data as they enjoy adolescence.

For more information on how to be better protected online, visit the NICCS Website.

Ryan is a Security analyst at Symplexity. He has 10 years of combined IT experience with the last 4 focusing on cyber security. Ryan’s education in Criminology and Psychology enhance his capabilities in threat hunting, forensics, and end-user awareness. When not hardening client defenses, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, and camping.

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