Tips to know your children are protected when using their mobile devices
As parents are becoming ever more aware, their children need to be protected while using a PC to surf the Internet lest they come across a site that is devoted to pornography, violence or anything else that is age inappropriate. What is less widely known is that the same dangers can take place when children use mobile phones. But it is true. After all, a mobile phone is as much an Internet surfing device as a computer. There are of course other dangers as well—minors are often “sexted” by adults on their mobile phones or make calls to strangers who seem attractive but turn out to be sexual predators. As an example of what can happen, a little under a year ago 37-year-old Stefanie Dickinson was charged with sexting a 14-year-old boy who was the friend of her own son. Later she was arrested again for sexually assaulting another child. This is only one of a disturbing number of such incidents.
How does one protect one’s child against these kinds of threats? The rest of this article will outline the safety steps that you can take.
An app called Mobiflock can be used to keep children safe on mobile phones. Parents can use it to get alerted in the case of potentially dangerous cellphone activity. They can see who is calling their children and sending them messages, what websites they are visiting on the phone and even the last place where the device was located. With this app, too, designated individuals can be blocked from making contact with or being contacted by the child over their phones. Mobiflock can be used to establish VIP contacts who can always be reached, especially in case of an emergency. Parents can view a report on how the child has been using the phone and adjust the security settings according the the age and personality of that particular child. This includes blocking whole categories of websites and making sure that the web searches are safe. The smartphone can be deactivated at certain times to prevent children from using it late at night and not getting enough sleep. Email and SMS alerts can be sent to the parents if the child is engaging in an activity that seems to be especially dangerous.
2) Instilling the proper values in children
Monitoring your children's online phone behavior behind the scenes is not enough. They will, after all, some day become independent of their parents and when that happens, they will be solely responsible for what they do online. They must therefore be armed with the weapons that they need to protect themselves.
It is therefore crucial that parents instill the kinds of values in their children that will enable them to judge what they should and should not do online and with mobile phones. Establish a clear set of rules so that children will know what is and is not permitted. Most important, set a good example for your children by forming good Internet and smartphone habits of your own.
Some important rules that children should be asked to follow when using cellphones include the following:
· Avoid making calls in public as much as possible.
· Keep the phone hidden when not using it.
· Never let strangers use it.
· Restrict access to the phone by setting up a password or PIN.
· Avoid using the phone in poorly lit areas.
A cellphone may also pose a radiation hazard. For that reason children should be taught not to hold the phone to their ears, using the speaker phone option instead. If they have a driver’s license they should never use the phone and drive at the same time.
3) Positive aspects of mobile phones
Let us not forget that mobile phones can have a positive impact on the lives of children. Indeed, many parents have their children carry cellphones around with them so that they can contact them if an emergency occurs. They can also use Internet maps to find their way around if they get lost. GPS tracking can help parents find their children easily.
Rebecca Brown is an avid blogger for NQ Mobile on Google Play, keeping people protected when using their mobile devices.