To help parents better understand how to increase family safety, privacy and security, ConnectSafely.org and CTIA, in collaboration with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, has released A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones. The guide is free and available now for reading and downloading.
ConnectSafely.org is the non-profit Internet safety organization where I serve as co-director.
The guide, which is available in English and Spanish, includes:
- Tips for Smart Smartphone Users of All Ages
- Cellphone Safety Check List
- Is Your Child Ready for a Cellphone? (Check List)
The guide also covers how to use phone settings to protect privacy, safety and security along with suggestions like:
- Sit together as a family to draw up a set of family rules or afamily contract with guidelines for mobile phone use
- Be sure all phones are locked with pass codes to protect privacy and security
- Find out about parental control tools from your carrier, phone maker or third party app developers
As of 2013, 78% of teens had cell a phone, according to Pew Research, “and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones.” That, according to Pew, translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
As the guide explains, the mobile phone eco-system has changed dramatically over the past several years. There was a time when mobile carriers acted as gate keepers, controlling all you could do with the devices but today there are hundreds of thousands of apps that can not only enhance your experience but also affect your safety, privacy and security.
In a statement, Jamie Hastings, Vice President, External and State Affairs for CTIA said that ”it’s important for parents to talk with their kids about responsible use, as well as the family rules and consequences if those rules are broken.”
Tips on Mobile Privacy, Safety And Security for Parents from by Larry Magid
ConnectSafely’s new ‘A Parents’ Guide to Mobile Phones’ by Anne Collier