How To Make Sure Your Child Uses It Safely
Did you know that approximately 75% of children between the ages 12 and 17 own a smartphone, and that most of them go online regularly? Among the most popular smartphone amongst this age group is the iPhone. The iPhone offers great multimedia, gaming and Internet features. It’s no wonder that kids and teens all over the world love it.
Many parents want to allow their child to use an iPhone, but they have concerns about providing him or her unsupervised access to the Internet. The good news is that there are many applications available to help your child use it safely. You can also create a “Proper Use Contract,” which is a signed agreement between you and your child for proper iPhone usage.
The following is an example:
Proper Use Contract
June 23, 2013
Dear Mom and Dad,
As a responsible iPhone/Internet user I promise:
- Not to Access Porn or Excessive Violence: No adult websites involving porn, nudity, adult content, or excessive violence will be viewed.
- Not to Use Sexting: No sexting or messages involving adult content will be used. If I receive a message regarding adult content, I won’t reply and will inform you immediately.
- Not to Download Free Apps: I will only download free applications that have met your approval. These applications will be downloaded using WIFI within our home—not with a data/cellular connection.
- Not to Download Paid Apps: I won’t download or purchase paid apps without your permission and approval.
- Not to Sign Up For Social Media: I won’t sign up for social media, email or other types of communication accounts without your permission, or use secret accounts.
- Not to Download Music, Movies and More: I won’t find, download, watch, or store R- rated movies or adult content on my iPhone.
- To Adhere By Data Limits: If I have reached my monthly data limit, I will let you know, and stop using data for the rest of the month. I won’t incur extra data fees.
- To Communicate Respectfully: I will always use respectful and appropriate language in all communications.
- To Share Passwords With My Parents: All account information including user names and passwords will be shared with my parents. I won’t share account information with anyone else, unless I obtain permission from my parents.
- To Adhere To This Contract With All My Devices: This Proper Use Contract applies to any type of digital device I use, such as my iPhone, smartphone, PC, Mac, Tablet, iPad, iPod, etc.
- Violations Will Result In Forfeit of My Device: If I violate any of the rules on the Proper Use Contract, I will forfeit my iPhone, smartphone, PC, Mac, tablet, iPad, iPod and [insert additional solution here.]
Internet Safety for Children and Teens
Make sure you install security software for the iPhone, and enable a password lock with a difficult password. It’s a good idea to enable “Find-My-iPhone” as well; it’s free with iOS 4.2., or you can download it from the AppStore.
Also enable “Block Pop-Ups” and disable “Auto-Fills” because these features will help protect your teenager from exposing your data. Concerned parents can enable restrictions to lock down some of the iPhone’s capabilities, for extra safety.
Make sure your child understands that their iPhone/Internet use is an earned privilege, and not a necessity, and that you are in charge of their ownership of that privilege. Their limited rights and privileges can be taken away at any given moment, upon your request.
Smartphones come with an abundance of business risks; however, the personal risks can be even higher. Giving your child an iPhone, or Internet privileges of any type gives them a lot of power. Make sure they know how to use that power safely, and wisely.