smartphone

Here are the criteria for choosing a safe phone for children

It’s hard to say no to your children when they want something, and many children these days want something very important and expensive: a cell phone. If a cell phone is part of your children’s current life or you plan to buy one for your child, the rules for its use should be an integral part of the family safety system, especially not talking to strangers.

The good advantage of giving your child a cell phone is that you can keep in touch with him, keep track of his contacts, and even track where they are. But if you don’t choose a suitable phone and control how much you use it, you could put your child and your family at risk!

In this report we will give you some criteria that will help you choose the right phone for your child, important features that you should look for, ways to control your child’s use of the phone, and some suggestions for phones available on the market


How to choose a mobile phone for your child
Sometimes the best mobile phone for your child is the one you already own, or the one you used to have before you bought a new one. This ensures that you and your child share an operating system, and you already know how to use their phone, or you can simply buy them a smaller, cheaper or new phone of the same brand as yours.

If you are buying a new phone for a child under 12 years old, choose a cheaper and older model or an entry-level phone that has a lower retail value, and therefore is less attractive for theft. Most sellers offer an entry-level model that allows making calls, text messages and some multimedia, which should be enough for small children, and not too expensive if you want to replace them in case they are lost or stolen. In the end, exactly which smartphone you choose will depend on the age of your child and your goal of using it.

What features should be considered when buying a phone for your child
While there are many considerations and preferences that you or your child may dictate which features are most important, especially if it’s iOS, Android, or a third-party vendor’s operating system, be sure to consider security features, ease of Use, and battery life.

Ease of use: some mobile phones are specially made for children. They have been designed to be easy to use and have features such as limited internet access, phone number privacy, and emergency buttons in case of an emergency.

Screen size: while smaller phones are better suited for smaller hands, once you reach pre-teen and teenage age, the screen size and camera features will play an important role. There is no best screen size, but it is preferable to use a phone that can fit in a pocket so that your child can walk around the city without attracting the attention of potential robbers.

Privacy settings: your mobile operator and the phone itself should give you multiple options for privacy settings and child safety controls.
Web access controls: most carriers allow parents to turn off features, such as accessing the web, sending text messages, or downloading applications and content. Many phones provide access to the web and mobile applications, but if you are worried about your child accessing inappropriate content online, choose a phone with limited internet access or web filtering features.

Global Positioning System (GPS): many mobile phones now have built-in GPS technology, and some carriers offer GPS services that allow you to set the location of your child.

Battery life: be sure to check the battery quality of the phone you plan to buy, it should last all day on a single charge.

What is the best age to give your child a cell phone
There is no best age for owning a mobile phone, some children seem to be born holding the phone in their little paws, while others are not ready to take responsibility for the phone until they become teenagers, if the child is big it is always nice to have a device that allows children to keep in touch with you.

The age of 14-middle school age – may be the best time to introduce a mobile phone to your child, it seems that the age when children begin to ask for a phone is around 9 or 10 years. A study shows that 69% of children own a smartphone by the time they turn 12 years old.

Some guidelines on how to judge whether your child is mature enough to use the phone include a clean legal and school record, understanding the concept of time limits and app downloads, and understanding how to use the phone without interrupting or disturbing others. Do not forget that it is you who are the final arbiter of whether your child is able to use a cell phone responsibly.
Can you put parental control on a cell phone
Parental controls can be the key to your child owning and not owning a phone. Just as you don’t allow your child to wander the streets alone at night, you have to protect him from online stalkers, harassers, predators and robbers who may threaten their mental health and physical well-being. There are a lot of ways to control how and when your child uses his phone.

Most parental control features allow you to stop online bullies by blocking their calls and text messages, making sure your child is not exposed to adult content, and checking their location. Most carriers allow you to limit the number of minutes, messages and entertainment downloads. Restricting days and times of use can cut costs and keep your child focused on the real world. You can also use the following services:

Using Google Family Link, parents can supervise their children’s use of the phone and set restrictions on it, although its filters are not always completely accurate or suitable for each child’s age or maturity level. Parental controls let you know what your kids are using their phones for, how often, and where they are. If your child is less than 13 years old, you can equip his devices with the highest level of supervision.

The Bark service monitors text messages, YouTube, emails and more than 30 social networks to identify possible security issues. The service allows families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their children online. The service also offers screen time management tools and web filtering to help you set limits on how and when kids use their devices.
Apple Screen Time, built into the iOS system, allows you to set restrictions on how long your child can use his phone, what applications they can download and use, and when they need to put the phone away for the night. Screen Time also allows you to watch and view their applications and screens, track their location, and program in content restrictions.

Which is the safest messaging app for kids

woman in white shirt holding black ipad
There are a lot of youth-oriented messaging applications (Kik, Snapchat, wohatsapp, Facebook Messenger) that are not ideal for young children. Most third-party messaging applications are aimed at the group over 13 years old, as they track users. Unless you use parental controls to limit the people you can exchange messages with, no commercial text messaging app will be completely secure. Safety lies in teaching your child how to send text messages with best practices. However some messaging apps are designed to be inherently safer for kids and teens, here are some examples:

Facebook Messenger Kids

This application delivers almost complete control to parents, you can manually approve all contacts, set a timer to limit use. There is no way to hide or delete messages, so you can see exactly what your child was going to do, there are no ads or in-app purchases, no need for a Facebook account.

JusTalk Kids

The ad-free JusTalk Kids has several parental controls, and it doesn’t need a phone number to work. Protected by a passcode, your child cannot receive friend requests from strangers, messages or calls from anyone not approved by the parents, and allows you to block profiles.

Google Hangouts

Using Google Family Link, you can create an account for a child under the age of 13 and set parental control, including manual addition only for friends and relatives. Setting privacy on can’t Send Me Invitations ensures that strangers will not be able to send friend requests, individual messages cannot be deleted although this is possible in the entire chat history.

Skype

Using Skype, you can set up the service so that only people listed in the list of approved contacts interact with your child. Information such as age, date of birth, gender is hidden from his profile, and the name of your child will appear in the search results only if his name exactly matches

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