Parents, monitoring your children’s cell phone usage is not as difficult as you might think. Be aware of the telltale signs of potential problems:
• Unusual usage spikes
• Unusual hours of usage
• Your child hiding or covering up their cell phone
Ashley Drake Gephart talked with KOB-TV Reporter Cristina Rodda about the things a parent can do to safeguard their child’s usage:
• Spot check your child’s cell phone usage times.
• Restrict your child’s usage times as needed through the provider’s website.
• Install software apps to track incoming and outgoing texts, such as My Mobile Watchdog.
Of course, there’s no magic age for a child to be trusted with a cell phone. Knowing your relationship with your child and their maturity is always your best bet.
“Parents need to sit down and tell their kids, ‘I taught you how to cross the street. I’m going to teach you how to be safe online,’” John Walsh says.
Unfortunately, many parents themselves don’t know how to be safe online. They need to learn how to take an active role in educating themselves so they can protect their children.