The kids have gone back to school – and with them approximately £3.2 billion worth of technology. And that’s just the under 16s! Phones, smart watches, MP3 players and perhaps even tablets make their way to school every day, with an average of £270 worth of tech per school bag, at the risk of being lost or stolen.
How can you protect your children, and their devices? We’ve got a few tips to help you:
- Firstly, don’t show off/use your device in a public place, such as the walk or bus to school. Even if you are finding Pokemon on the way, no amount of Pidgeots will make up for being mugged, and children make easy, vulnerable targets.
2. Also common sense, don’t leave your phone unattended, even for a second, no matter how safe you think your school is. (16 year old Emily learned this lesson the hard way!) Even if you only have to pop out of the classroom, take it with you or lock it in your locker.
3. Track your tech – using the Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone features. These require the phone to be switched on, with the location service enabled, but will show you fairly accurately, where the phone was last “seen”.
4. Mark your device – you can get UV pens to write names and postcodes on an inconspicuous area, or if you’re marking all property in the house, you can use Smart Water or a similar system. This will help the police return your technology to you, if they retrieve it or it is found and handed in.
5. Keep a record of all your devices at home. Write down their make, model, IMEI number (for phones – press *#06# to display it), phone number, serial number if visible, what colour case, and any identifying marks (cracked screen etc). These will help you in the event you do have to report it lost/stolen, or call the network to block any calls.
6. You could also consider insuring your gadgets, either under your contents insurance, or via specialist gadget insurance, or registering them on a database such as the Immobilise database (supported by the UK police), to aid recovery.
7. One last low-tech tip – if your child is still young but needs a phone for security purposes, consider getting them a non-smart phone that will be less attractive to thieves, and much cheaper to replace. Carphone Warehouse (other mobile phone retailers are available!) have “dumb phone” handsets starting from as little as £1.49 or £4.99, plus £10 Pay as You Go top-up. Sometimes the old solutions are the best!
Have you got any tips or stories about sending your child to school with technology? Leave us a comment below, or contact us on Facebook.