It’s a very different world out there; the one our children are growing up in is certainly not the same world we grew up in. Technology has evolved quite dramatically, and as a result, we, as parents, often find ourselves unprepared for some of the most important conversations we need to be having with our children.
Take smartphones – what child doesn’t want one? What child isn’t pressuring their parents to get one? And while smartphones can provide many benefits and peace of mind to both parents and children alike, there are also things to consider from a safety perspective.
First off, let’s make sure they don’t abuse the privilege and don’t run up a massive credit card bill. It’s important to create an open dialogue with your children; it’s best to start with why you’re giving them a phone, be clear about expectations from a communication stand point when they’re out with their friends. Do you want to hear from them when they leave school to head home or only in emergencies? It’s also a good idea to discuss the plan that you purchased – do they need to use text messages to friends sparingly, are they free to surf the internet as much as they pleased, or do they need to be more conscious of their usage.
From a mobile security stand point, who knows what sorts of apps and sites they’ll be accessing, so we strongly recommend setting the phone up with an antivirus or mobile security suite that can run in the background to fend off mobile malware. BullGuard’s Mobile Security suite can counteract the threats your children may accidentally come across.
It’s important that you talk to your children about the risks of getting too social on the internet. They need to be made aware that it’s not okay to arrange to meet with strangers, no matter how old they say they are, and that it’s not okay to share private information such as their address, date of birth or school. Perhaps you might even consider having your children sign a Family Agreement.
Make sure your child stays safe. Keep an eye on what they are up to when they're out and about with BullGuard Mobile Security.