August 22, 2018

When to Give Your Child a Smart Device?

10 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe

Heading back to school, it’s the annual “should my kid have a smart phone?” discussion. The Age of the Smartphone seems to get younger and younger with the present average age around 10 years old, down from age 12 in 2012. Every child is different, however, with access to powerful information comes powerful responsibility – is your child ready for it?

Communication and modeling appropriate smartphone behavior yourself are key to having your child successfully handle the positives (and negatives…) that come with using a device. You may even want to lay down some ground rules with your child. Here are some tips to get you started:

1) Safety – make sure smart phones default to locked and that you & your child know the password. One parent put a wallpaper photo of an emergency number in case her child lost their phone, so a call could get the phone back in the right hands.

2) Check In – watch your child’s instant messaging and texts

3) Download rules – no downloading new apps without permission.

4) Update privacy and security settings on a daily basis.

5) Assume NOTHING is private on a smart device (and instill that in your child.)

6) Reject any friend requests from people you don’t know.

7) Destroy old devices with a service like ShipnDestroy for maximum security.

8) Location tracking – be sensitive to some apps being able to lock onto your child’s location and broadcast it. Teach your child to be discreet when posting – save those sunset pictures with the team until AFTER the event when your child is safely home.

9) Look for the best parental controls these are the top Parental Controls of 2018 with the upcoming Apple iOS 12 setup for built-in parental controls (PCMagazine)

10) Finally, TALK TO YOUR KIDS! Nothing substitutes interaction with your kids – is there an app they want to share with you? A game? A friend that said something on Facebook they don’t know how to respond to? These moments are ideal teaching moments that help move your children through this global information age.