In a world where babies grow up using iPads, it’s no surprise that today’s children are getting their own smartphones at increasingly younger ages. It’s completely natural for parents to worry about their children having a smartphone and what risks they face while using it, though there are plenty of things that can be done to provide peace of mind.
Three’s Internet Filter
At Three we want children to be able to use their smartphones without the risk of stumbling upon inappropriate content. Therefore we provide internet filters on all phones for pre-pay customers, to limit access to material that may not be suitable for users under 18 years old. 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) 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 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 phone at certain times, as well as tracking their location and monitoring their general phone usage.
Protect the Device
It’s always a good idea to have a plan in case the worst happens. 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 are 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 Three stores.
Other Practical Tips for Parents
Finally, here’s some important and useful tips to pass onto your children:
Only give your phone number to people you trust.
If you receive any abusive or rude calls, messages or photos, keep 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.
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