How parents can protect their children when using smartphones

If your kid has a new smartphone, here’s how you can keep it safe.

You may have concerns about what they can access or if they might end up being cyberbullied.

Then there are online scams that young people should be aware of and games with built-in payments that could charge parents hefty bills.

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But there is help out there. Uswitch, a price comparison service and switching website, has a definitive guide with helpful tips for moms and dads.

Rehan Ali, Mobile Expert at, said: “Millions of parents will be giving their kids the latest gadgets this Christmas, and it’s important to know the risks that come with them, especially smartphones.

“If you’re worried about what content your child can access on their device or want to limit the sites and apps they can use, it’s a good idea to set up parental controls.

“The most comprehensive and cost-effective parental control is Google Family Link, which gives you purchase approval to let you approve downloaded content. Two-factor authentication offered on some devices and apps also gives you more control over how your child’s smartphone is used.

“Before setting up your child’s phone with a mobile network, teach them how to track their spending, so you don’t end up with a hefty bill at the end of the month.

Parents may find these tips helpful

“Your child will probably want to bring their phone to school, and with social media connecting their classmates, cyberbullying can become a problem for some. It is important to discuss this topic with your children, and if you discover that there is bullying, be sure to report it to the appropriate technology platform.

“Make sure you have comprehensive insurance for your child’s phone. You will find that the investment is worth it when it comes to you if the device is lost, stolen, or broken.

We’ve summarized Uswitch’s advice below. However, you can read the full guide here.

How to set up parental controls and monitor phone usage

Parental controls allow you to determine which sites and apps your child can access with their smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

They also let you set limits on how much time a child can spend on their device and even let you monitor exactly how they’re using it.

If you’re worried about your kids paying high bills in app stores, Parental Controls can take care of that as well, letting you set spending limits. Or you can set up your kid’s phone so that they can’t spend any money at all.

There are a number of apps out there that will give you the controls you need to keep your child safe and make sure that they are not expensive.

Uswitch has found that the easiest to use and most comprehensive app for parental controls is Google’s Family Link. Downloading is free and using the service is free.

For more information on other parental control apps, devices you can use with Google Family Link, and instructions on how to set it up, click here.

Two-factor authentication

There is another way to prevent your child from downloading content or signing in to services that you want to restrict – two-factor authentication.

2FA, as it’s also known, is a belt-and-suspender approach to online safety. In addition to entering your password, you will need to enter a unique unique code that will be sent to you by another method, such as SMS, before you can connect to an online service.

This is a convenient way to ensure that it’s you who is trying to log in, and not someone pretending to be you. But you can also use it to restrict your child’s use of certain apps and services.

Simply enter your cell phone number as the contact method for 2FA. Then they won’t be able to connect to a service or buy something online without your consent.

All major web services offer the 2FA option.

How to stop your kid’s mobile habits that cost a fortune

High-end smartphones can cost over £ 1,000, so how do you cut the costs? There are several ways to do this.

Buy refurbished

If you don’t like the idea of ​​buying a used phone because you fear it might not be in good condition, a refurbished phone is a much safer option.

These are used devices refurbished by the manufacturer. They aren’t brand new, and they won’t be this year’s models, but the manufacturer has wiped them out of all data and content and polished the exterior. The result is a phone that looks and works like new.

Here is more information on buying refurbished phones.


An even cheaper option is to give your child your old phone when you upgrade to a new one. You will know how the phone works, so you can show it to them and you will know exactly what condition it is in.

Alternatively, you can trade in or sell your old phone and use the earned money / credit towards a new phone for your child.

A trip to Hoppings and a burger

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monqi phone

The Monqi device is a smartphone specially designed for children. Parents can control every aspect of the device using an app that you can download to your phone.

Take out a flexible contract

Now that you have the handset, you will need a way to get data, minutes, and SMS.

Contracts are cheaper than paying as you go. But that doesn’t mean you have to be locked into a long and expensive contract. Mobile operators have become wise and now offer a wide range of SIM-only offers that are much cheaper than 24- or 36-month contracts.

Set a ceiling price

If your child exceeds your allowance with a SIM-only agreement, you could end up paying a lot more. This is where price caps come in.

This is a limit on your monthly usage that cannot be exceeded. This means that you can’t spend more than what you’ve allocated during the month, so you know your child can’t rack up a big bill. Some mobile operators offer price caps.

There are many ways parents can help keep their children safe when using smartphones.
There are many ways parents can help keep their children safe when using smartphones.

How to protect your child online

Emphasize the dangers of over-sharing

When signing up for a social network, it’s tempting to tick every box and share every detail about yourself. But excessive sharing has its dangers. Not only does it give out very personal information that could be used to steal your child’s identity, location tracking can also help predators see where your child is.

Talk to your child about the importance of privacy and what might happen if they share too much information about themselves.

Help them find out how to update their privacy settings so that they only share information with whoever they want.

Take an interest in how they use their phones

Know what apps they use, what social networks they belong to, and roughly how much time they spend there. It can help to anticipate any problem like cyberbullying, excessive sharing or sleeping problems due to excessive smartphone use late at night.

With younger children, you can explore apps and games together. Not only will this ensure that they only see content that is appropriate for their age, but it will also be a good bonding time for you.

Set limits on phone use

Experts agree that too much screen time can be harmful to children. It can cause social, emotional and behavioral problems, increases the risk of obesity, and using devices late at night can interfere with children’s natural sleep patterns.

All of this can be avoided with a few simple rules about using the phone. Set limits on how long children are allowed to use their phones, and when and where.

For example, some families ban phones at the table so that everyone can talk to each other. Others say they don’t use the phone until the child has done their homework.

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About Marion Browning

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