Life isn’t simple as it once was… kids play outside until dark and coming home when the streetlight came on to wash up for bed. The world was a little more innocent for a six year old then, no surfing the web, chatting on Facebook, or even owning a phone- let alone a smartphone. Today, children across the globe have smartphones and devices equivalent to a pocket sized computer. Not to mention the free Wi-Fi everywhere they go- to say unlimited access is an understatement. Technology keeps advancing with the next techno-gadget! Therefore, there is a greater need to educate children how to be responsible and safe with their Smartphones. It is you duty as a parent/ guardian to educate your child on Smartphone etiquette and safety.
Tips and Tricks for keeping your Kids Safe
Prevent data overuse. Having a smartphone gives a child unlimited access to the internet or applications that use data (depending on your cellular plan). Since Smartphones are like mini computers be sure to connect to Wi-Fi as much as possible. You can limit data usage by going into your smartphone’s settings and turn off the apps you aren’t using or those you use often.
Secure your password. Not every devices takes your fingerprint – yet. So be sure to have a secure password – even if your phone is already locked. Applications, websites, or anything holding your personal information needs a robust password (i.e., use symbols, mix upper and lowercase letters), and don’t use the same password for every app, service, or website.
Share your location mindfully. A growing number of apps let you share your location and track where your friends are. If you use a location feature, think about who could see that and whether you want them to know where you are. Make sure only close friends or family members can see your location.
Protect your child’s privacy. The best way to protect their privacy is to first have a conversation (not a lecture) with your kids about smartphone use. Consider utilizing the Smartphone Agreement and talk with your children about why privacy and mindfulness is important.
Go Kid Friendly. Some companies are coming out with apps that restrict activity and improve your child’s safety while online. Others are building kid friendly tablets like the Amazon Fire Kids Edition. This tablet is built with kids in mind. Parents can set time limits, educational goals, and it comes with a one year no questions asked warranty.