You will surprise no one with a picture of a toddler playing games on parent’s smartphone (and parents can tell many stories how kids manage to accidentally make calls, send sms or delete important files while they are not watching). However, when kids use adults’ devices they tend to be careful and do not browse sites that they shouldn’t browse. But when they get tenure of their own handheld device, situation is getting worse, especially when they know that moms and dads won’t check their browsing history.
To put it bluntly, the combination “a child + mobile device” without parental supervision is highly explosive:
1. Expenses on gaming. Kids know perfectly well how to benefit from the unsecured parent’s Google Play account. They download commercial apps and make in-app purchases, or may buy songs or films on iTunes without permission and afterwards parents are shocked by bills.
2. Adult content. Without using refog keylogger to track your kids’ activity, they may encounter billions of sites and find something inappropriate even if that wasn’t his intention.
3. Sexual harassment. Kids love chat rooms and God only knows who speaks with them there – in the chat room 13-years-old girl may turn out to be 40-years-old predator.
4. Cyberbullying. This topic is essential because every year the issue of cyberbullying kicks into gear and there are more and more shocking news about teens’ suicides due to their being victims of online bullies
Thoughtful parents should do their best to protect their kids from that.
What Things should any Parent do?
First and foremost, check the settings section of the device, browser and app marketplace that kid uses. Some devices offer poor parental controls, some browsers offer a fully-fledged set of settings, so look them through and adjust where it is possible:
1. Delete apps that you think to be unsuitable for your kid and set up age restrictions on Play Market and the App Store.
2. Block access to certain YouTube channels or allow access to particular ones
3. Give access to age-appropriate content only
4. Protect change of settings with a password
And now for the sad part. Teens are more knowledgeable in terms of new technologies than their parents, so there is a pretty good chance that they will bypass the interlock. That is why it is crucial to use control apps that can create an aggregate picture of kids’ online activities.
There are many monitoring apps and some of them are able not just to monitor but also manage usage of web-connected devices. Thus you can limit screen time, block using of the device at school hours, prohibit installation of apps, block phone calls and texting, look through emails and IM chats.
One of the advantages of this approach is that parents are immediately notified if something goes wrong: kid enters forbidden by geo-fencing area, reception of email or message from unknown contact, sexting or cyberbullying etc. Control apps help adults to protect minors from possible perils of the Internet – do not neglect a possibility to put up a wall between your child and online offenders!