How Much Freedom Should Parents Give Kids With Phones?

The world today is much different than how it was when you were growing up. While you may not have had a personal phone or other similar electronics until you were older, kids today are born into an age where having access to the internet is merely a truth. Therefore, you need the right strategy regarding how much freedom to give kids on their phones:

Dangers to Be Aware Of

The internet access that phones have brings a lot of new and specific dangers. There are many ways that criminals out there can hack devices of any kind. Here are the main hazards to be aware of:

Camera Access

With remote hacking tools, cyber-criminals can get access to a phone’s video camera. This allows the person to see live video feeds from the phone. They can also take still pictures or watch video calls live. The dangers of this are apparent, and they are more common than you might think.

Your kids are also in danger of people communicating to them through their phone or texting apps. They might try to trick your child into doing things that are dangerous or not approved.

More information: AVG.com

Credit Card Information

If you give your child permission to purchase things online with your card, they might have it saved in their phone. If this is the case, then all it takes is for one website with the proper setup to steal your credit card information. Then, the thieves can steal your identity.

Also, don’t forget education. The first line of defense you have against the danger of phones is to educate your children. Talk to them about the hazards at a level that is appropriate for their age. Make it clear that they are not allowed to violate your rules about technology for any reason. Establish what are the consequences for breaking those rules so they understand how serious this is.  

More information: NerdWallet.com

Apps

There is no shame in keeping a sharp eye on the activity of your kids online. After all, they are not prepared to encounter the various tricks and scams out there that target children, let alone adults. Thankfully, there are apps that allow parents to control child app access. This means if a particular app enables internet access or other permissions that you are not okay with, you can stop it before it even begins. Many of these apps allow you to get live reports and updates right on your own phone whenever you want.

More information: NetSanity.net

Games

Just because your kid is playing a game, don’t assume they are safe. Modern games almost always have a chat feature. Someone could be on there saying inappropriate things. You can block curse words or certain other words from showing up on their phone with parental controls.

Chat and Text Logs

If you suspect that your kid is talking with someone on their phone that they shouldn’t be, then use an app that lets you see their logs. This will show the texts and calls, even if they have been deleted. If it is a matter serious enough to take to law enforcement, they can often pull these for you too.

GPS Tracking

At first, you might feel a bit overbearing by having tracking installed on your kids’ phones. However, the reality is that in today’s world many people have these for their phones, cars, computers, and pets. There is no reason not to know where your most loved person on the planet is. After all, most kids go everywhere with their phones these days.

You can broach this subject in one of two ways. First of all, you can tell your child that you are tracking them. This might keep them out of trouble. The second option, if they disobey your requests, is to install it without them knowing.

More information: HuffingtonPost.com

Curfews and Time Limits

If you completely deny your kid the usage of a phone, then they will only get in more trouble when they first gain access to one. Introduce them slowly to different concepts and realities of the internet and phone usage. Start out with curfews and time limits. This way, their potential exposure to danger is limited and controllable.

When it comes to phones today, they are different than ever before. Long gone are the days where a phone was only used to make a few phone calls or text messages. Kids today can access virtually any part of the internet and all the dangers it possesses. Be sure to use the tips above and give your kids the right amount of freedom and limits on their phones to keep them safe from harm.

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