When smartphones were first introduced in the late 2000s, they were treated as a device for adults. But times have changed and today, even kids have access to smartphones, with children as young as 8 to 10-years-old using them. But we shouldn’t be too fogeyish about it. That’s because smartphones these days are in no way geared to be just adult devices.
Kids can use smartphones to play games, or use other entertaining and educational apps. Many parents give smartphones to their kids so that they can stay in touch with them at all times. But at the same time, parents should also be aware of the potential dangers of using smartphones.
A child is exposed to many risks like contact with strangers, and cyberbullying through their smartphones. As responsible parents, you must keep them safe. This is why you should keep a close check on your kid’s online activity. You should be aware of the people your kids are talking to, the sites they are browsing, the apps they are using, and anything else they may be doing on their smartphones.
With this in mind, we are going to suggest some ways that will help you keep your kids safe on their smartphones.
1. Use Parental Controls
Most smartphones are available with parental controls of some kind. If your child is using an iPhone, you will find parental controls in the settings section of the device. But as far as android phones are concerned, not all of them come with this feature. In that case, you will have to download a parental control app.
The good thing is you will find many such apps in the Google Playstore. Some of these apps can generate reports about your child’s online activities, block contacts, and much more. Before you download any of these apps make sure you go through their features. You must look for a parental control app that can provide full safety for your child. The main advantage of parental controls is that it allows you to determine the sites and apps your child can access from their smartphone. It can also set a limit to the amount of time your child can use the phone.
2. Reduce Screen Time
Another effective way to keep your child safe on their smartphones is to reduce their screen time. By doing so, you limit the amount of time your child uses a smartphone. It’s like setting a timer on your child’s phone.
There are apps available for both Android and iOS phones that help you to create a time limit for daily usage. Some of the apps also allow you to create a bedtime period for your child. This restricts your kid from using the smartphone. In case, your child needs more time, they can send a request for an extension.
3. Control Access to Content and Apps
Android phones make it easier to control the kind of content and apps your child uses. You can set multiple accounts on a single android phone. All you have to do is create an account for your child and set the restrictions you want. This allows you to share the phone with your child while restricting the device when your child uses it.
You can also download separate apps to set restrictions on their phone, while you control it from your iOS or Android device. With all types of vulgar apps and negative content going around on the internet, it becomes extremely important to keep a check on your child’s online activities.
By restricting the device, you can prevent them from using certain apps and browse certain sites. You also get to check the apps your kid is using and the type of content they are watching on the internet.
4. Protect Your Child’s Privacy
When you let your kids use a smartphone, it can be very difficult to control what they share on social media and with whom. But luckily, some apps make things easier for you. To protect your child’s privacy, you must stop them from sharing photos and other information about themselves on the internet.
Let’s face it, the internet is a dangerous place for kids. Allowing them to share their details online can attract strangers. You don’t know their intentions or what they are capable of doing to your child.
There have been many instances where kids have been harmed or kidnapped by strangers. Therefore, you need to try every possible way to stop your kids from sharing their details like photos, address, phone number, etc.
5. Keep a Check on Your Child’s Online Activities
The internet can be a very tempting place, especially for a young child who is being exposed to it for the first time. It can influence them both in a good way or bad way. Kids these days are smarter than we were at their age. To keep your child on track, you must check their phone regularly. Check the sites they are browsing, the people they are talking to, the type of messages they are sending.You never know who or what is influencing your child. There are certain things that your child shouldn’t be doing it.
Yes, we are talking about adult sites, inappropriate texting conversations, and other vulgar things that your kids should stay away from. By keeping a regular check on their phones, you can prevent them from indulging in such things.
It’s fine to give a smartphone to your child as long as you know they are not doing anything wrong. Not just that, but you also need to keep them safe from all the risks that come with a smartphone. With these methods, you can keep a check on your child’s phone and protect them from getting in trouble. Let your kids enjoy their time using their smartphones, but make sure you have full control.
James is a writer and editor at RoutersNetwork. As a tech writer, he writes articles about networking, and runs a blog that specializes in coding and the latest tech trends.