Everything is getting more expensive these days and, in the run-up to Christmas many parents may be looking to save money by giving their child used and second-hand tech rather than splashing out on pricey new devices.
A quarter of parents gave a second hand tablet to their child, and just under half handed them a used smartphone, according to a 2021 Which? survey of 2,010 parents with a child under 12.
However, there are potential risks in giving old tech to your little ones, from them downloading an app that they shouldn't, to being targeted by hackers.
Read on for advice on how to safely give old tech to your child so you can save some cash and have peace of mind in the process.
From toddlers to pensioners, we're all using our phones, laptops, tablets and smart devices more and more. So, malicious hackers are seeing them as a way to perpetuate fraud and other crimes.
The problem with old tech is that it can be hard to tell if it is vulnerable.
We asked parents about what tech they gave to their kids. With tablets, 76% bought a new device compared to 24% giving their child a used product.
However, with mobile phones 55% bought new compared to a much closer 44% giving a second-hand device. For laptops, it was 62% new against 36% second-hand.
It's positive to see that around 70% of parents checked to see if the device they were handing on to their child was still receiving security updates, as these provide vital protections against hacking threats. However, around one in five (20%) parents did not do this.
We know from our research that finding information on software updates can be challenging, so even those who do check might not get all the information they need.
In our survey, the majority of parents unsurprisingly used Amazon to buy a product for their child, including new and used tech devices.
The second most popular place was eBay, with 40% of parents using the online marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace is growing as a parent's favourite, with 18% shopping there for bargains, including second-hand products, and 12% shopped at AliExpress.
Worryingly, around a quarter of parents did not check for age suitability when shopping for products for their child on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, although that dropped to 16% on AliExpress, suggesting parents are more cautious there.
As there aren't many decent Android tablets for under £100 (Amazon's cheap Fire tablet range runs a modified or 'forked' version of the operating system), you could be tempted to get an old tablet for your child at a knockdown price.
When we checked eBay in October 2021 we found 87 Android tablets running an out-of-date version of Android (deemed as Android 7.0 or earlier) . Many tablets ran Android 4.4 KitKat, which had its last update more than seven years ago.
Many of these were being marketed as new or 'opened but never used' on eBay, and being actively marketed for use by children.
Don't give any out of support Android tablets to your kids - go for a device running at least Android 8.1, or ideally Android 9, 10 or 11.
Follow the below key tips to ensure you shop safely when considering second-hand tech for your child.
If you still want to give your child a used device, follow our tips for doing this safely: