10 Parental Monitoring Tips for Cell Phones
Following Mondays article on parental monitoring and why you should be doing it, I thought we'd follow up with some tips for monitoring his or her phone. I am noticing more and more teens scrolling through Facebook pictures and checking their emails using their mobile phone all the time. And it's not just me.
Facebook's recent acquisition of Instagram, a photo sharing app for mobile devices, shows that users are increasingly going online using a phone.
Even so, statistics show that far fewer parents monitor their child's cell phone as rigorously as they do other Internet-enabled devices, like a laptop or desktop PC. If this is you, don't feel bad – start keeping your kids safer today with these 10 parental monitoring tips for cell phones.
10 Parental Monitoring Tips for your child's cell phone:
- Lay out the times and durations when phone use is acceptable
- Specify what times are “off limits” for phone use
- Decide jointly on a consequence for breaking the rules
- Familiarize yourself with the features and capabilities of the phone
- Talk about what's acceptable to text and forward
- Think about installing additional parental controls on the phone
- Develop a system for regularly checking phone activity
- Review the contacts listed on the phone, watching for strangers or cryptic contact names
- Review phone history for late night calls or calls at odd times of day
- Teach kids not to respond to texts from people they don't know or give their number out to people they don't completely trust
Depending on your situation and how your child uses their phone, you may need to modify some of these tips or add new ones. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it should point you in the right direction if you've been a little lax on phone security.
The bottom line is that if your child has a device that can connect to the Internet, consider it as an extension of the Internet and apply the same safety rules that you have for your children online using any other devices.
- Jenny Evans is a mother of four and a blogger specializing in parenting, childhood, and family issues.