Should Parents Use Kids’ Real Names As Google ID On Android Devices?
It seems like only yesterday first mobile phones were introduced to the public. But here we have, the year 2016, and most of our lives and everyday activities somehow involve smartphones and other mobile devices. No one can say that such connection with the web is a bad thing – technologies have made our lives much easier, and brought us more opportunities in most spheres of our lives. But it is still essential that we think well about our security, and it should be done on a regular basis.
When the problem of accessing the Internet from various devices occurred, the idea of having one general account for all devices where your information, search preferences, and bookmarks would be kept seemed to be great. In fact, it is still convenient – with all the data kept on a virtual cloud, you can feel at home no matter what computer or mobile device you are using. Such convenience requires your attention to details and awareness of how the systems and programs you are using operate, where your information is kept and whether or not it can be used by someone else.
One of the most common ways to keep all your data accessible from any device is having a Google account that requires Gmail. From the user’s point of view, Google is doing an excellent job – a great part of services and options they offer today were once separate paid features that they bought and made free for Google users.
After numerous cases of personal information being leaked onto the Internet, some people might worry about the security of their accounts, especially with Android-based smartphones that are requiring a Gmail address (which also works as Google ID) for accessing all the features it has. If you are a parent and consider whether or not you should use your kid’s real name in a Google account on the smartphone, here is a brief explanation why you should not be worried about it.
In general, the concern is pretty natural – we can all be worried about someone else collecting our personal data to later use it somehow. But when it comes to a Gmail account on your kid’s phone, there is no place for foil-hat worries. Once you know how the service works, you will know why using a fake name is not the case here.
Yes, it is not a secret that a significant part of a person’s activities on the web are tracked. Google Analytics uses our search terms and history to define what kind of advertisement to show us, as well as what search results to offer first. The latter is also based on millions of other users’ searching.
In fact, the components of Google service that collect your kid’s account data do not ‘see’ the words you use in a Gmail account – they identify it as an alphanumeric code, and it is enough for the service. So, whether any purchases will be made using the Gmail account or not, the system will not try to identify your personal information with a name you use for an account.
The mentioned search term analysis will, in fact, work much worse if you provide a fake account, as well as auto-fill feature, that is now saving so much time and is especially convenient for smartphone users. All the guessing search term endings you are offered are based on the ton of other users’ information. If you use multiple accounts for your child’s smartphone (like one with a real name for applications that require current information of the user, and couple fake-ones just in case), all the actions and searches will be split and guesses will not be accurate.
And the final argument for using a real-name account. There is a plenty of applications that you buy through email, and you will lose the access to them once you lose the access to an account used for their purchase. So, chances are higher that your child will not lose an official email, and your money will not be wasted.