Smartphones are not just for adults anymore. More and more kids today are toting around their own smartphones. Some may use them mostly for playing games and using fun apps, and others use them to surf the internet, to talk on the phone, and to text friends and family. From a parental standpoint, giving their child a smartphone is not just about entertainment and communication with their friends. A smartphone allows parents to keep tabs on kids and to communicate with them more easily when they are away from home.
As beneficial as smartphones are for kids and parents alike, there are some dangers associated with kids having smartphones. A smartphone provides kids with access to the internet, with the ability to message and video message friends and even strangers, with the ability to download photos to the internet at a moment’s notice, and more. So how can you keep your kids safe on their smartphone when their phone offers them so many capabilities right at their fingertips? Consider these points:
Talk to Your Kids: The fact is that even with the best security measures, kids may find a way to get around your security measures. The best way to keep kids safe on smartphones is to educate them about the dangers. Talk about the dangers of posting messages and photos online, of taking inappropriate photos, of using the phone inappropriately or to hurt others, and more. A smartphone can be a great resource, but it can also be damaging when used inappropriately.
Monitor Your Kids’ Activities: Kids may use their phones inappropriately, but they also may be targeted by other kids who are not using their phones appropriately. Consider checking inboxes and outboxes alike for email and texts. Also consider reviewing apps that kids are using as well as internet history.
Contact Your Provider: Different cell phone providers offer different security services for parents. Most will allow you to block numbers from being called or texted to, and you may also be able to block incoming calls and texts from numbers. If you identify that your child is targeting another or that another child is targeting your child with foul language, inappropriate photos, and more, consider talking to your provider. Your provider may also allow you to block certain internet addresses from being visited online, or you may be able to block photos from being sent and received altogether.
As a parent, you want your child to enjoy the benefits of a smartphone, but you also want to keep him or her safe. Consider some of these tips to keep your child safe today.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In