25 January 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Kids and Cell Phones: Safety First

Parents have iPads and smartphones. Teenagers have PSPs and, often, their own smartphones. Is there an exact date or time best to give your children their own gadgets? What should you do with your child’s privacy after giving a phone or other gadget to him or her?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it is too difficult to define the best timeframe for a specific family or child. Each family should make a decision based on the maturity and responsibility level of the child. But here are a few safety tips for kids and smartphones, based on research by LaptopMag.

  • Know your child’s passwords, especially to unlock the phone itself.
  • Install a geolocator tool to find out your child’s whereabouts, just in case.
  • Be aware of cyberbullying. If bullying is happening in school, it’s likely happening online as well, so remain in frequent contact with your child and maintain an open-door policy of honesty so that he or she will alert you when something is wrong.
  • Download security and antivirus software to prevent identity theft, because it happens to kids as well as adults.
  • Set monthly limits on texts and block calls from unknown numbers.
  • Install a tool that will be able to wipe the phone of all personal data in case your child loses it. This will help stop anyone from finding out unnecessary information about your child and your family.
  • Know the warning signs that something might be amiss. Kids who switch screens when you, as a parent, walk in the room or don’t respond to message alerts might need to be monitored more closely.
kids and cell phones: safety first

Additionally, here are some specific questions to pose prior to gifting your child a phone that may help you choose the right timing:

  • What is the main reason your child wants the gadget?
  • What is the technology policy at his/her school?
  • Are you familiar with the capabilities of the gadget?
  • Will you be able to monitor their gadget use?
  • Are there parental controls available on the device?
  • Will this device be used for educational or entertainment purposes?
  • Are there added costs to the gadget (data plan, apps, case, etc.)?
  • Will the gadget take away from their face-to-face time with friends and family?
  • How long will the gadget last?
  • Is this gadget just a fad?

Our kids are growing up in a technology-driven world. If they don’t interact with today’s gadgets in some form, whether in school or at home, they could be behind for the future. So, when it comes to kids and cell phones, safety first! Play it safe, and allow your safety policy to grow up as the child does.

For maximum safety, arm kids or teens on the go with a BoostSolar, a solar-powered backup battery so their phone will never go dead in a dangerous situation. (They won’t be able to claim that they missed your text messages about curfew, either!)

Have you decided that your kid is old enough for that new gadget?

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