Tools for Child Safety on Mobile Devices

Mobile devices have made Internet use much more convenient. Consumers can surf the web, shop and download content on a handheld device. However, mobile devices also create more risks for children. Use these critical tools to protect your kids.

Internet safety for kids

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules in place to hold websites accountable for their interactions with children. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires companies to get parent approval before a child’s personal information is collected.

COPPA also requires all website to implement and list privacy policies on their sites. Many web applications allow children to play games or enter contests. The FTC prevents website from collecting additional personal information before allowing a child to access a game or contest.

Filters from Internet content

WebSafety points out that parents need to recognize risky situations involving children as soon as possible. This applies to many areas of life, including Internet use. One useful tool is a filter for questionable or dangerous website content. These systems can flag URLs that are inappropriate- or block certain URLs entirely.

There are other forms of parental controls for social media. Parents can monitor text messages, pictures and other content that children send or receive on their devices. All of these social media filters can be customized to alert a parent.

Cyberbulling and other risks

In addition to accessing and viewing inappropriate content, children face other risks. Stopbullying defines cyberbullying as bullying that takes place using electronic technology. This technology includes email, text messages, chats and other social media. By monitoring their child’s social media use, a parent can prevent cyberbullying.

In extreme cases, predators used the Internet to attempt to harm children. This may involve trying to meet the child in person. To protect against this threat, parents can use mobile tracking devices.

Mobile tracking allows a parent to use mobile phone tracking to verify their child’s phone location. Parents can get updates on where the child is, and also get alerts if the child is in an area that the parent considers unsafe.

Using these tools can alert a parent to someone who is trying to interact with their child. If a predator is trying to meet the child, the parent will know where the child is.

Other tools to manage Internet use

KidsHealth provides some other tools to supervise a child’s Internet use:

  • Educate your child: Teach the child how to access the Internet, and what a URL is. Explain to them that you’ve added a parental filter to protect them from inappropriate sites. Most importantly, children should know that some people on the web hide their true identities.
  • How your child uses technology: If your child uses a laptop, make sure that they use it where other family members can see them. Some parents locate a PC in the kitchen, for example. Consider limiting the amount of time your child is allowed to use the Internet.
  • Bookmarking sites: Mark sure that your children knows how to bookmark sites they use frequently. This tip can help limit the number of times your child performs web searches- and lower the chance to access an inappropriate site.

Use these tips to ensure that your child’s uses the Internet safely. These tools will also help you monitor where your child’s location and prevent cyberbullying.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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