We will not dream of leaving our children alone at home with the doors open, but how many of us will not hesitate to leave our children alone with our mobile device which is not "locked" (protected)?
This could be many times more dangerous, says security firm Symantec Malaysia, as an unprotected mobile device is akin to one which has all its doors open to cyber criminals.
According to Symantec's latest global cybercrime study, the 2013 Norton Report, around 65 per cent of those most likely to be cybercrime victims are parents with children aged between eight and 17.
As the annual report revealed further, cybercriminals are targetting these parents as 30 per cent of those who allowed their children to play, download and shop on their smartphones and tablets, are also using the same mobile devices for work and have stored corporate data on them.
Many parents find the mobile device a convenient tool or substitute "watcher" to keep their children occupied and quiet, but they also need to be aware of the dangers, warns Symantec Corporation's (Consumer and Small Business, Asia Pacific and Japan) product marketing manager Philip Routley who was in town recently.
"A four-year-old playing a game will not know what pop-up is safe to click on and what is not. And they will not know not to open all the browsers, so there is a bigger risk of them going to a malicious website and exposing your device to cybercriminals," says Routley.
According to the report, while the number of online adults who have experienced cybercrime this year has decreased to 41 per cent from 46 per cent in 2012, the average cost per victim has risen from US$197 (RM634) in 2012 to US$298 (RM959) in 2013.
The Norton Report (formerly the Norton Cybercrime Report) is one of the world's largest consumer cybercrime studies and is based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults aged between 18 and 64 across 24 countries including Singapore, Australia, China, United Kingdom and the, United States. It is aimed at understanding how cybercrime affects consumers and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts consumers' security.