Just as K-12 educators have for years been providing critical awareness and prevention information around issues such as bullying and drunk driving and drug prevention, there’s an opportunity for educators to raise awareness of mobile-theft related crimes that are affecting more kids & teens than ever. Many schools address online safety, but the devices themselves put our kids at risk.
How Does Mobile Theft Affect Youth?
- 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones
- 20% of kids aged 8-16 have experienced mobile theft. Teens and youth aged 14-24 are more than twice as likely to be victims of mobile theft as other age groups in London.
- Kids are being attacked for their devices, particularly in schools with known 1:1 programs
- In the US, of the 20% of kids aged 8-16 have experienced mobile theft, often the crime was committed by another child or group of children. Educators need to address how to prevent students from committing crimes too (that it’s a lot more serious than stealing lunch money!)
- Many schools ban the use of mobile devices on-property, leading kids to leave the property to use their devices.
With kids and teens a growing target for mobile theft and often violent crime, now becoming another form of bullying, we think educators have a key role in preventing crimes that affect their students and the community at large.
Key components of creating mobile theft awareness in the K-12 environment include:
- Ensuring on-site facilities offer safe storage options for devices brought to school or used at school
- Education for teachers and staff on areas where students and devices may be at risk, best practices and how to teach safety to students
- Providing learning materials for teachers to use in class (hand-outs, suggested videos, websites with more information)
- Put up posters in the school with top tips, to help with recall of safety information
- Providing community outreach to parents and even local residents on efforts to combat mobile-related crimes
- Linking mobile theft awareness with current anti-bullying efforts
- Drawing up school policies that reflect safe places for students to use their devices without interrupting their education
- Offering device tracking software (installed or information for parents) to track stolen devices, allowing law enforcement the ability to recover stolen devices and hold criminals accountable
Absolute Software offers an ability to jump start your efforts with the Safe Schools program, an integrated program that pairs Absolute Computrace theft recovery products with advice and materials that can be used both in-school and for community awareness. More information on the components of the program can be found here. We also suggest contacting your local law enforcement agency, who may be happy to complement your efforts with additional resources specific to your community.