When it comes to kids, smartphones are both a blessing and a curse; they allow you the freedom to contact your children anytime, but they also open the door to predators. However, you do not have to live in fear. Instead, you can keep your kids safe by teaching them some valuable lessons about their smartphones. Here are six smartphone security lessons your kids need.
Image via Flickr by DavidShutter
Some of you receive calls from unknown callers daily, while others receive them only once in a while. Although it is annoying, as an adult you can ignore it. However, when children receive an unknown caller call, they think of it differently. They are curious who is on the other line and tend to want to answer. Sure the unknown caller could be a telemarketer, but it could be a predator who is trying to do harm. Teach your children to NEVER answer a call from an unknown caller. Instead, let it go to voicemail and tell you about it when they get home.
Speaking of voicemail, if that unknown caller from before is a predator, and they get your child’s voicemail recording, do you want them to hear the voice of a child on the other end? No, you don’t! No one who isn’t family or a friend should know they are calling a child, and when your child doesn’t answer, they still shouldn’t be able to figure out it is a child’s phone. Teach your child to use the standard recording that comes with their voicemail account. This will allow you and known callers to leave messages, but it will prevent a stranger from learning they called a child, or worse your child’s name.
Anytime your kid is making a call to someone they don’t personally know, teach them how to block their caller ID before dialing the number. This way if your child accidentally calls a wrong number or they reach someone on the other end who is less than trustworthy, that person cannot call them back. This is a way to guarantee that no one has their number other than those who you know and trust.
It is normal for your child to want to interact with social media once they have a smartphone. It is also normal for you as their parent to want to protect them and keep them safe from the dangers that come with social media. One of the easiest lessons you can teach your kid about social media is to never “friend” someone who they don’t personally know. Simply saying they shouldn’t “friend” someone who isn’t a friend of a friend is not good enough because what if their friend “friended” a stranger. Keep it simple — if they don’t know them, don’t “friend” them.
What about friend requests from other kids who they don’t know? They are just kids doing what kids do and trying to get as many friends as possible, right? Wrong! Many predators create fake profiles using the picture of a kid and creating the illusion of being a child just to get access to other children. They do this so they can start-up a conversation and get to know your child. They hope to one day invite your child to meet, and then your baby is in real danger. Protect them, and teach them about these behaviors so that they will remember to only “friend” those they know.
There are tons of social media accounts, and a child is often tempted to keep their profiles public. They love the attention of creating videos and watching hundreds even thousands of strangers like and comment on their work. It makes them feel famous. But this is so dangerous. Teach your children to keep all of their profiles private and social media accounts set, so only friends can see. It may not be as glamorous to them, but it will keep them safe.
Remember, predators are smart and always evolving. So with that in mind, keep an eye on your children and monitor their phones. If something doesn’t look right or feel right, trust your intuition — it is always better to be safe than sorry.
CEO and Founder at Mighty Shouts.
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