Communication is easier than ever, thanks to mobile technology.
However, as with Internet use, parents should practice safety
precautions when using mobile phones and teach those principles to their
children. Here are some basic guidelines:
1. Give your kid an “age appropriate” cell phone. Evaluate the need of your kids. Will they need one for school or to communicate with the family? This will help you decide whether or not a smartphone is necessary.
2. Check the applications that your kids are using. This will serve as your gauge of the mobile behavior of your kids and the kind of games your kids are playing.
3. Regulate the use of mobile phones. Like the Internet, kids can get caught up in using their mobile phones, which can be a distraction to their studies.
4. Spot-check the contents of the phone. Depending on their age, kids should be aware that you will be spot-checking their phones for inappropriate material. Inform them that your action will prevent them from being on the receiving end—or being the cause—of cyberbullying. This will also prevent them from storing—and sharing—questionable video clips, audio files or text messages. Spot checks can also give you a gauge of what your kids have been doing.
5. Make sure emergency numbers and the numbers of family members are saved in the phones.
6. Teach your kids to use mobile phones responsibly and safely.
· Do not engage strangers in a text or video chat.
· Do not capture on video or photograph other people in embarrassing situations.
· Do not accept calls from strangers.
· Do not believe and respond to disturbing text messages, or messages from unknown sources. Report these messages to an adult.
· Do not use your mobile phone to harass or bully somebody.
· Do not save applications, videos, photos or audio that is not respectful of other people.
· Do not use your cell phone when crossing the street.
· When using earphones, make sure you can still hear what is going on in your surroundings.
· Follow the cell phone policies at your school.
Parents should teach kids the principle of “safety first” before allowing them to use a cellphone or other electronic gadgets.
For more tips on how to keep your kids safe online, visit Yahoo! Safety Net. #
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