Smartphones are unavoidable in daily transactions, especially for grown-ups. As children grow up and see their peers and elders flaunt exciting games and applications on their devices, they’d want phones for themselves too.
It’s your duty to project smartphones as a source of education, which can be done by helping use internet for constructive purposes. Here is a 7 point-check list that’ll help you track your children’s activities on smartphone for their well-being.
7 ways to healthier smartphone use
1. Check cyberbullying
Malicious websites are dodging international cybersecurity and targeting your children through self-destructive games and tasks. Influencing children’s mind is easy. Stop that by activating parental control in Windows or Mac OS in the first place. Then, use Google’s parental control software such as SafeSearch to block adult, violent and inappropriate sites by locking your SafeSearch settings with a password.
Inform the police if your child is unfortunately being targeted online or if they talk about their friends facing similar experiences.
2. Ask children to share passwords
It’s true that the smartphone is theirs. Yet, they can’t control what search engines are feeding to them in the form of content. Convince them that you need their phone’s passwords to save them from harm and that you’ll let them be on their own once they learn to protect themselves online.
Children wouldn’t disobey if they are not under bad influence online. If they do, make them feel that you seek their well-being and ask if they can get out of the dangers of unguarded web activity. If they hesitate, they’d would entrust you with passwords.
3. Educate about vulgarism in messaging
Children nowadays connect with hundreds of people on social media without any age barrier. Getting lured or stalked with improper advances by strangers is one of the most common and feared phenomena.
Earn your children’s trust and then give them basic insights into sex education so that they know who are stalking them and thereby refrain from sharing personal details with them in future.
4. Alert about age-inappropriate content
Although adult and malicious websites keep appearing despite bans, it’s up to your child to fall into those traps or stay healthy. And you’re the one who should tell him/her this. Also, talk to him/her about the long-lasting harmful effects of enjoying these forms of content and compare that situation to a successful, happy future.
Show your child that you want to trust him/her because of his/her intelligent decisions and explain your expectations from him/her in a polite, friendly manner.
5. Track access to digital wallets
Do your children have access to OTT platforms without your knowledge? Do they play games online that require in-app purchases which they regularly do? Then chances are that they are using netbanking with someone’s account. Such unchecked access can lead to disastrous habits such as gambling online to the point of bankruptcy.
Enjoy content on such platforms with family and update passwords to your accounts frequently to prevent misuse.
6. Check games children play for violence
Games can do more harm than good at times. The race to perfection has forced production houses to show violence with graphic details that can ruin your children’s minds. Worse, they often emulate gameplay in reality and can harm others.
Monitor the kind of games children play and suggest to them more peaceful versions of the games they are playing.
7. Discuss issues with children in detail
Children often fail to live up to the academic expectations of the society and try to escape reality through internet. They end up being harassed because they search for a friend who’d empathise with their struggles. Become their friend by spending a lot of time with them, showing interest in their passions, activities and being there when they need you the most.
Monitoring children’s activity is a tough task but with persistence and your children’s trust in you, you can save your child’s future.