Kids and cell phones often go hand in hand these days so much so that they have become inseparable. Undoubtedly, getting your kid their first cell phone can feel like a stressful and complicated moment in your life because you are not only opening doors to vast information for them but in a way, allowing them to discover dangerous zones on the internet.
Before handing your kid their first phone, you must prepare them to handle the phone ownership responsibly. Your kid’s first phone can be an incredible tool for safety, keeping in touch with them and teaching them responsibility.
There are a few important things every parent needs to do before handing kids their first phone. As important as it is to install the best iPhone spy software or best Android monitoring app (depending on your kid’s device), you should also initiate a discussion about internet safety and privacy with them.
Remember, nothing beats the importance of a healthy and informative discussion about internet privacy so make sure you have that with your kid. Let us take a look at some important things that you must take into account before you decide to give your kid their first smartphone.
Factory Reset the Phone (If it’s a hand-me-down)
According to a recent survey, it has been seen that over 60 percent of parents have given their kids a hand-me-down cell phone instead of a new one. Usually, giving a hand-me-down phone to your kid is considered safe and secure because you or someone else from your family has previously used it.
The advantage of giving your kid a hand-me-down cell phone is that you will give them after doing a factory reset on it. By doing a factory reset on the phone, all the existing data on the phone including photos, videos, text messages, apps, emails, etc. will be erased.
This means your kid will get an empty phone with only the default apps that already come with the OS. So, it’s always better to clear the phone’s data before you hand it to your kid.
Include Important Emergency Numbers
One of the basic reasons parents hand phones to their kids is they want to keep in touch with them and coordinate with them especially when it is time to pick up and drop off at school or college. Cell phones can also provide a sense of relief and peace of mind as they can contact their kids and reach out to them immediately during an emergency.
After you have factory reset your hand-me-down cell phone, or once you have taken out your kid’s brand-new phone from the box, make sure to include all the important as well as emergency phone numbers you want your kid to have on their contact list.
Install Parental Controls and Monitoring Apps
The next important thing you need to consider before handing your kids their first cell phone is installing a reliable and professional parental control or monitoring app on it. Be sure to install one in case you want to keep tabs on everything they do on their cell phones.
Fortunately, both Android and iOS come with their set of parental controls that you can enable to ensure your kids’ safety on the devices. However, we would also recommend installing an Android or iPhone spy app on your kid’s phone before you hand them the device.
Parental control and monitoring apps help parents manage, control and monitor what sort of content their kids can have access to on the internet. You can also set screen time limits on their phones, block harmful and inappropriate sites and apps on their devices, and prevent them from watching such content.
Connect the Home WIFI and Set Mobile Data Limits
The last thing you want when you hand your kid a cell phone is the shock of a huge amount of mobile data bill. Instead of being shocked looking at the bill, it is better to have a conversation with your kid about responsible internet usage. You need to make them understand that mobile data can cost them a lot.
You can ask them to switch to the home WIFI connection instead. Always choose an internet service provider that allows you to set mobile data limits in your account. By doing this, your kid will not exceed internet usage and will be bound to access the internet within limits.
Talk About Privacy and Personal Safety
You can only teach your kids about internet privacy and personal safety once you initiate a conversation with them on the matter. Remember, it is never too early or too late to talk to your kids about staying safe online and using the internet responsibly and safely.
It only takes one simple and honest conversation for parents to talk to their kids about internet safety. You can tell them why it’s important to stay safe online and also explain to them about several dangers that they may come across while using the internet. You can also discuss why it is necessary to install parental controls on their devices.
Every parent wants their kids to have a safe internet experience. For that to happen, you must take into account the above-mentioned points before handing your kids their first-ever cell phone.