Buying a smartphone for your kids gives you peace of mind; you can connect to them anytime and vice versa.
However, just like with any other type of technology, smartphone use of children comes with its downsides.
With serious issues circulating our societies such as cyberbullying and age-inappropriate content, you can’t help but incessantly worry whether your children are safe while using their phone.
So, how can you keep a check on your kids and protect them from the modern world’s dangers? Let’s find out:
Monitoring Text Messages
Today’s generation prefers to connect through texts rather than emails or phone calls.
If you’re concerned about your child talking to strangers, giving out personal information, or engaging in inappropriate conversations, it’ll help to monitor their text messages.
Use a text message spy app; it will let you remotely read your teen’s incoming and outgoing texts, including deleted ones.
Such a monitoring application also allows you to keep track of other things on your child’s phone such as social media messages or browser history. You can track your child’s GPS location as well.
If you feel uncomfortable spying on your child’s communication without their consent, talk it out with them. Explain that you will keep an eye on their phone usage, and why is it necessary to do so.
Restricting Phone Activity
You know your kid isn’t sending or receiving any inappropriate texts, but what about accessing inappropriate web content?
To avoid this, restrict your child’s smartphone activity by blocking potentially unsafe or inappropriate content with parental controls.
Parental control applications for Android and iOS permit you to restrict certain apps and even limit the amount of time your kid can spend on their phone.
In addition, Broadband service providers offer parental control options that restrict certain content on any device connected to your home Wi-Fi.
However, these restrictions won’t work if your child is not at home and is using their mobile data instead. In this case, you can contact the mobile service provider and ask about their content filters.
Mobile companies offer additional parental control features as well, such as reviewing and blocking contacts, locking the phone during specific periods, setting data, texting, and calling limits, and more.
Talking to Your Kids
One of the best ways to ensure your kids’ safety is to keep them aware of the issues that come with owning and using a smartphone. Start by setting and explaining guidelines regarding specific topics, such as:
Let your kids know that if someone harasses them through text messages or online, they can always come to you and tell you. Also, make sure they understand how bullying others can be harmful.
- Sharing Personal Information:
Tell them to never give out their full name, phone number, address, or any other personal info to strangers or post it online. They should not share their location online or on any social media either.
- Texting Behind the Wheel:
Be clear with teenagers about the dangers of texting while driving.
- Accessing Inappropriate Content:
Explain to your children what is and isn’t appropriate for their age and why it’s important to restrict certain content from them.
During communication, it’s necessary to be open, honest, and understanding. Asking your kids what their friends or classmates are doing on their cell phones is a good way to understand what they see as “normal” behavior.
Once you understand the social norms in today’s generation, you can communicate better with your kids and explain the risks of smartphone usage more effectively.
Moreover, it’s useful to note your child’s phone usage habits. Are they using their phone too much? Are they overusing during a specific time?
If mobiles at school are not allowed, how are they using them there? Besides, find out what kind of applications your child is using and what social networks they engage in.
Equipping yourself with this key information can help spot issues like over sharing or cyber bullying on time.