Being a parent is hard work - making sure your child is safe and sound, attending to all their needs, and making sure that they can one day go out into the world and not only survive but thrive. When they get a cell phone, the job instantly gets even more challenging because they now have a personal portal to the outside world without you being there as guardian. Not only do you have to make sure their surroundings are safe, but now you have to protect them from the cyber world and all the danger that comes along with it. It may feel intimidating at first, and you may feel like you don't even know where to start or what type of measure you should take. Luckily, tools have been invented that will allow you to do just what you need to to keep a tighter grip on your child's phone and the content therein.
Here are some ways that as a parent that you can keep your kids safe while still giving them the freedom and privileges of having their own cell phone.
Talk With Your Kids And Establish Trust
Make sure that your child understands that while their new freedom is "cool" that there are dangers that should be avoided too. While this talk in itself won't prevent bad things from happening or prevent them from seeking out trouble, it will help to set boundaries and expectations as well as establishing trust. While your son or daughter might think they know everything there is about having a personal cell phone, the reality is that they might not even consider things like how to avoid predators as well as the dangers of sharing personal photos and how quickly content can be shared with others.
The other benefit of maintaining communication with your child about boundaries and expectations is that they know they can reach out to you if they experience questions or issues with harassment.
Track phone numbers
It has become all too easy for people to get a hold of anybody's phone number, and you can never be sure who the person is that's actually conversing with your child on their cell phone. Apps like Facebook and Instagram have all your personal information, and anybody can get a hold of it. Sure, there are privacy settings that allow you to only show the information to people you have friended. Still, someone posing as a very innocent young individual can quickly gain your child's trust and acquire that information. If you see an unknown phone number on your child's phone or that someone you are not familiar with is talking to your child, you can use an online tool to verify the cell phone number in question. This tool will enable you to see the person's name and all the information on them that is available in order to determine whether the person is who they say they are or not.
Monitor their text messages
It may feel like spying at first, but it's actually just you making sure that all the incoming and outgoing text messages on your child's phone are safe and appropriate. Kids make mistakes, it's completely natural, but some mistakes have much larger consequences that they wouldn't even know about and should therefore be shielded from it as far as possible. This is why there are apps that can allow you to have access to all your child's incoming and outgoing texts, thereby making sure they are not getting themselves into something that will be hard to get out of later.
By taking only these two easy steps, you'll have complete control over the access other people have to your child and their personal information. As their parent, you will also be able to do anything you need to do to keep them safe - besides, it's not like you don't trust your child. It's the predators out there in the world who can't be trusted.