Protecting the Kids (Cell Phones)

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Pre-teens and Cell Phones

Can you recall being lucky to have a calculator?  Not talking about the advanced calculators today, just a basic add/subtract and that cool little M+ button.  And making a call to that girl I liked was on the one wired phone in the house, and then stretching that cord to it’s limits for a little privacy.  Ok, enough about that.

In today’s world the kids have phones.  That means the ability to text, call, play games, take/share pictures, and access the internet.  If you are handing down phones like so many other people, even those smartphones that do not even have a phone plan anymore, you are handing them full access to the internet.  That new or retired phone is a computer.  Be aware that you are just as responsible for it as a full computer workstation and it is portable!  Using WiFi, they can go wherever a signal offers wireless internet. Thought they needed a phone service plan to use the internet?  Nope.

For those that decided it was time to get a phone for their kids, I’d like to talk about some success and troubles I have had with phone control.  There are several apps out there that come up when you search for Parental Control applications.  Some great articles with some charts with comparisons on features there is no harm in taking a look.  None of them are perfect, but let’s talk about what is important to me out of the features mentioned by them.

My preference after trying a few of them is Norton Family.  I found it to be the easiest setup and monitoring for my kids.

There are levels of protection that include Antivirus called Security Premium, but I feel that double price is not necessary as I have other means of virus protection and no need for online storage. But if you want those additional features, there you go.

For those like me that just want to govern the phone, Norton Family is generally about $50 unless you get in on some sort of deal. So the $50 is worth it in my opinion.

Everything is in a nice neat portal that you can access online, or on your own phone/tablet.

One of the most important features to me is controlling the time they can can spend using the device. You can lockdown certain hours to just using the phone as a phone!  So you never have to worry about them being able to call you or for help, but keep them from using apps for more than 1 hour or whatever you choose per day!  Lock it down during school hours.  Outside of school hours, give them an hour or two to use freely, then it will lock itself.  Choose which days they can have more free time.  It is customize-able.

Now for the more involved parent, all awesome features!

  • You get Web Supervision that includes allowing or not allowing them to go to certain categories or sites.
  • You can view the text messages going back and forth if you turn on that feature (included).
  • You can locate them with location supervision.
  • You can allow or disallow certain apps!  Say you don’t want them on INSTAGRAM.  Block it.
  • You can INSTA-LOCK it whenever necessary, and then unlock when you want.

All of this in a simple app that you install after you create your parent account.  And yes you can add a parent (or grandparent) if you want.  Get some help here from your spouse and be involved!

Easy enough to find online, but here is a link – https://us.norton.com/norton-family-premier

Let me know what you think!

 

 

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