So, your little person just got their first smartphone – now what?
In a world where babies grow up using iPads, it’s no surprise that today’s kids are getting their own smartphones at increasingly younger ages. Don’t panic, it’s completely natural for parents to worry about their children having a smartphone and what risks they face while using it. The good news is there are plenty of things that can be done to provide peace of mind.
Three’s Internet Filter
At Three we want kids to be able to use their smartphones without the risk of stumbling upon inappropriate content. That’s why all our Prepay phones come with internet filters, to limit access to material that may not be suitable for our younger users. Find out more about Three’s Child Safety policy here.
As well as the aforementioned filter, there are a variety of apps that can help safeguard your child’s phone.
One of the most useful apps for anyone to have (not just children, this is for you grownups too) is one that will locate your phone if it goes missing. The most popular of these are the ‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Android Device Manager’ apps. As long as your phone is switched on, you can locate its exact position. There are also options to switch off your phone and wipe it if you’re worried that it has been or will be stolen.
Another useful app is Trusted Contacts, available on the Google Play store. The app allows you to designate people as ‘trusted contacts’, so they can share their location and have their location requested at any time.
In addition to these location-based apps, parents can also go as far as downloading a comprehensive parental control app, such as Norton Family (available on the App Store and the Google Play Store). With Norton, you can restrict children from using certain apps and using their phones at certain times, as well as tracking their location and monitoring their general phone usage. Another good one is Google Family Link, which will help set up those all-important digital ground rules like restricting screen time and setting a cut off time each evening.
One of the biggest worries (if not the biggest) is how easy it is for kids to chat with strangers online. Here are some tips you can pass on to your kids to prevent this
- Do not accept friend requests from someone you don’t know
- Don’t accept online messages from strangers
- Never give your password to anyone
- Never meet a friend you’ve met online in person
- Don’t give out personal information like your name, address or phone number
- Never send photos of yourself to anybody
Protect the Device
It’s always a good idea to have a plan in place in case disaster strikes. For a few euro a month, any device can be protected against loss, theft, screen and liquid damage and more with Three SOS insurance. Kids can be very active and this can put the phone at risk, so having it covered can provide great peace of mind.
It may also be worth investing in a hardy case for your child’s phone. There's a wide range of cases available that can protect any device from extreme falls during the most rigorous activities. It’s also possible to purchase waterproof phone covers. You can find a range of cases available in our Accessory store.
Other Practical Tips for Parents and Kids
Finally, here are some important and useful tips
- If you receive any abusive or rude calls, messages or photos, keep a record of the time and date and tell a parent or trusted adult. Do not forward these to other people.
- Be aware that anything you post on social media can be saved by other parties, even if you go on to delete it. If you use social media, ensure the social media profile is private and be mindful of everything you post and upload.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, report it to the Gardaí, your mobile operator and your insurance provider as soon as possible.
For further information on Three’s commitment to child safety and responsible phone use, see here.
Have a question or want to add a tip? Pop over here to ask the Community.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.