This post brought to you by Kajeet. All opinions are 100% mine.
There’s school, practice, games, tutoring, time with friends and more – kids these days have social lives just as active as they're parents and they're always on the go. Many parents are turning to mobile technology to provide peace of mind and an open line of communication with their kids before and after school. As a parent, I can completely see the reasoning behind this but it also means that kids are recieving mobile devices at relatively young ages and it's a tremendous responsibility. Their mobile device should provide peace of mind, not another thing to worry about. So we have some tips for dealing with safety.
Create Clear Written Rules
Kids needs to knew what is and isn't okay. Kids who have rules and respect for technology are less likely to abuse the privelege. Expand from there based on the age and responsibility level of each kid – you know them best. Start with simple rules like:
- No cellphones after 9pm
- No cellphones during school
- Age appropriate content
- No In Game App Purchases
We recommend having these rules written down and signed, like a contract so if the rules are ever broken there is no argument.
Discuss Data, Texting and Minutes
One of the biggest problems parents run into are kids going over on Data, Texting or Minutes. Make kids aware of exactly what your contract entails. For instance do both incoming and outgoing text messages count towards their allowance? You can also find helpful charts that let kids know about how much data certain activities eat. For instance, according to a data usage calculator 1GB of data would allow a user to do the following:
- Send 100 emails with an attachment.
- Visit 100 web pages.
- Upload a post and a photo 50 times.
- Stream videos for 90 minutes.
- Stream music for 90 minutes.
- Use map navigation for 60 minutes.
- Do a video call for 30 minutes.
- Download 17 apps or games.
One of the best ways to keep kids safe, and monitor their activity, it through parental controls. Most service provides offer atleast some form of parental control but Kajeet is the only wireless service provider in America dedicated to kids and education. As such, their service offers extensive parental controls.
With Kajeet Parents can purchase the phone that is right for their child. Whether thats a popular Android smartphone (including the Samsung Galaxy S III or the LG Viper) or a more basic, “starter” phone like the Kyocera Domino.
From there they can take advantage of FREE Parental Controls including:
- Set time limits on phone use to prevent late night texting.
- Block unwanted calls, but always ensure that those from mom and dad get through.
- Manage what websites can be accessed (even on Android™ smartphones).
Decide who pays for certain services, like games or ringtones.
This is where those birthday gift cards and weekly rewards can come in handy.
But I think the feature that gives most peace of mind is the GPS Locator. All Kajeet phones come enabled with GPS Phone Locator right out of the box. You can track the phone and your kid in real time. Simply log into your account and run a GPS locate on demand. The results returned will display on a map with a time/date stamp. The location will also be added to the “locate history” for the device. This is great for making sure your kid had made it to soccer practice or a friends house after school. It also provides peace of mind that they are where they say they are.
Kajeet offers plans that start at just $4.99 a month and do not require a long term contract. Phones can be purchased right from the Kajeet website and now through June 17, there is a special discount offer on the website – 20% off all phones (except the Samsung Galaxy S4) with promo code PROUD. Or you can Bring Your Own Sprint® Device to Kajeet.
6 thoughts on “Technology and Kids: Keeping Them Safe on Mobile Devices”
I’m sure it’s very challenging – I know that if I spend any time with my teen age nieces and nephews I have to confiscate their phones if I expect any level of conversation out of them.
This is great! If I were to give my kid a phone though, the first phone would be a dummy phone, not a smartphone. It would only be able to text and call. But my kid is 5. I don’t see having to get him a phone til much much later.
I love these features it offers. My oldest is almost ready for a phone of her own but the dangers of having unlimited access has always scared me a little, this would help!
I need to check out this phone for my kids. We don’t let them use data so this would be a great alternative.
My kids are still too little for phones, but it’s great to know that this is an option for when they get older!