Have you come across your child’s craving for a mobile phone yet? Now, if you’re going to reply me in an affirmation, let me ask you if you have already bought a one for your child or wondering how to handle this demand?
This demand of our kids often perplexes us as it isn’t like their demand for a new Tee, golf gloves, or mountain bike. It is something that offers both technical growth which is vital for the today’s kids and the possible harm and destruction which is silently gripping most of the technology using kids of the day.
And as you plan buying a cell phone for your child, hundreds of questions gather up in your mind like: will it be safe? Will it be appropriate for my child’s age and growth? Is my child responsible enough to use it the safe way and keep the device safe from damage? Will my child not be wasting all her time on the cell phone instead of studying or doing something more important? And so on.
If you go a step deeper to understand the actual issue, you’ll realize that handing over a cell phone to your child actually comes packed with 3 main dangers and if you and your kid handle all three of them smartly, there just won’t be any problem getting her a brand new cell phone!
First, Cyber Bullying Spreading its Wings More Powerfully
It has been a long time when Cyber Bullying got free from the bounds of school corridors and lonely backyards and made its den on the Internet and started playing its nasty role through the electronic devices. But with the increased popularity of social networking sites and smart phones becoming handier with today’s kids, bullies know the exact place to attack their victims. So, every online activity of your child on these social sites that include the profile, the information, the pictures, the posts, the events, and host of all the other things work as the options for the bully to take advantage of. Whatever, your child does can be a reason for the bully to create social gossip, pass ridiculing comments, or simply make fun of.
And with the latest trend of smart phone applications and tons of software programs easily available online that make it easy for children to share picture, befriend strangers, and indulge in several other activities, bullies get a better chance of sabotaging their victims.
Second, Infamous Trend of Sexting among Teenagers & Pre-Teens
Kids, especially the teenagers and the pre-teens are maniacally indulging in this totally devastating trend called sexting which involves sharing sexually explicit picture of self with others. Sadly, most of them don’t know that it is rated as a legally offensive act and can put them in trouble if they are caught sending or receiving a sext. And the damage that this infamous trend has is far more than a legal battle awaiting them. A child who sends his or her nude or semi-nude picture to their friends has a potential danger of being ridiculed publically among their friends and others if their pictures get leaked to others, which is quite common a case taking place every now and then.
And this is again a place where bullies get to take the advantage of a kid’s folly.
Third, Increasing Threat of Online Predators
Kids are naive enough to befriend strangers online by simply believing in what these innocent and nice looking strangers say to them. But they hardly ever get to know that the good behaving stranger online is not another kid of their age but is a dangerous adult who has no other purpose than to victimize her. And in their naivety they even decide to meet these unknown people in real and get into unimaginable troubles.
These predators know exactly where to prey for their victims and they choose exactly those social sites and applications which the kids use to befriend new people and share their pictures and other information.
What Exactly is Working as Catalyst in the Increasing Online Danger and Abuse?
Wondering why the threat is increasing day by day and despite the ever improving realms of technology we aren’t able to curb these dangers. The real reason behind it is the technology itself. With the increase in number of social sites and cheap and easy to use applications that make handling Internet through cell phone far easier than before, the danger is ever increasing.
Social sites like Facebook that were earlier known to be safe are now found to be most ill used by bullies and predators. Facebook itself has some technical flaw or perhaps the kids of the days are far smarter than its technology! It allows a person to use the site only if he or she is above 13, but recent surveys have found that millions of kids below the age of 13 are using the site.
Then there are host of other sites and applications like Chatgig, Instagram, Kik, Imeetzu, Chatoulette, Let’s Date, Meet Me, Skout, Omegle, SnapChat, Oovoo, etc. that offers users to chat and share their pictures with total strangers. Most of these sites do promise that no information will ever get leaked and the pictures will not be available for download or other possibility to save. Kids feel they are really safe and abuse them by sharing their sext through these sites or by planning to meet the strangers in the real life which lead to such damages which can neither be undone nor be averted and the scars that they leave are then forever.
How can You Keep your Child Safe and Make Sure they Use Mobile the Safe Way?
This is a thing of great importance and if you can really promise to get it done the right way, will it be justifiable to hand over a new smart phone to your child.
Communicate with Your Child
Talk to your child well. Be friends and have proper communication which means you’re going to speak as well as listen to what your child has to say and help her like a guide and friend. This will let you explain your child the possible consequences of ill use of the various social sites and applications that make using the sites on the phone easier in a much better way.
Set Proper Rules
Set rules for mobile usage. When you have bought the mobile, you do have the right to monitor it and check out what things your child is busy doing through the phone. Tell your child what things you don’t expect her to do with the phone and if you find those things happening what will the consequences. Don’t feel bad to take the mobile back if you find the rules broken; after all it is for your child’s safety.
Monitor your Child’s Device through Child Mobile Monitoring Software
Proper parental monitoring of your child’s cell phone is a must but if it is not possible for you to handle it yourself all the time and you are suspicious that your child is hiding some really crucial thing from you, child mobile monitoring application is the best way to handle it. This will not just let you know the cell phone activities of your child including the internet activities, inbound and outgoing calls, and texts, etc but will also let you put an end to any of the unwanted activities that your child is getting indulged in. So, if you find your child sharing her pictures with some stranger online through one of those popular applications or online sites, you can immediately block the app and the site. It is equally possible for you to locate your child if she really goes on a blind date with some unknown fellow from the online social site, and so on.
Become a Part of your Child’s Social Presence
Don’t feel shy to create your own account on those social sites like Facebook, Twitter etc where your child is already present and ask her to befriend you. This will let you know what is going on in your child’s social world and will even get to know her online friends better.
So, once you make your child ready to face the 3 potential dangers online, prepare yourself to be a part of your child’s Internet presence and trace all her activities using an advanced mobile monitoring technology, you can be sure of your child’s safety and think of buying her a cell phone soon!