2.2 Keeping safe when using Smartphones

Smartphones are mobile phones with internet access. They are capable of a range of functions, including social networking, listening to music, playing games, browsing the internet, checking emails, taking photos and videos and watching TV – along with the usual texting and calling!

Smartphones provide a variety of interesting activities and ways for young people to engage with their friends and families. However, it is important to be aware of what these devices can do and how you can talk with your child to help them to use this technology in safe and positive way.

Three steps for parents:

  1. When you sign up to a mobile contract, make sure that you and your child understand the contract’s internet data allowance – accessing the internet uses internet data and if you go over your allowance it may cost you.
  2. Understand the capabilities of smartphones and how you as a parent can support your child to be smart and safe in their smartphone use.
  3. Talk with your child about safe and responsible smartphone use and agree a set of family rules. Perhaps you could agree rules with your child about not meeting up with people they have only met online, how much they are allowed to spend on apps, what websites it’s okay and not okay to visit, and whether their phone should be switched off at night. See a sample Family Agreement for more ideas. Remember that smartphones connect to the internet, so the same advice and rules for keeping safe online apply.