Choosing a Google or Apple smartphone
The two most popular devices are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Both have built-in parental controls that can allow you to set the maturity level of apps, set pin codes and screen time preferences.
As kids venture through the ever-growing worldwide web, it is likely they may come across harmful content. Tools such as Google’s safe search aim to filter out explicit results like porn however it is still important to set up parental controls on their devices. Other products like Google Family Link or Apple’s Family Sharing allows you to set controls such as explicit content filters, location sharing, in-app purchasing, etc.
In-app downloads and purchasing restrictions
With online gaming and apps becoming increasingly popular with many games and apps being linked to purchasing tokens to ‘get to the next level’ could possibly result into kids accidentally running-up bills, so it may be worthwhile disabling in-app downloads and purchases. Alternatively, you can look at sim only deals that offer the usage limits your child needs.
Is it your child’s first phone?
The recommended age for a child’s first mobile is around 11 but we know that children as young as six have phones nowadays and so it may be worth considering the following before gifting them one:
- Are they open and honest of the type of content they currently engage in? What do they watch on Youtube? What games do they play?
- Are they tech-savvy?
- How responsible and mature are they such as doing chores, being kind and honest?
Parents can make the judgement whether a child is ready for a phone – we recommend sitting them down and setting up a clear agreement so they know what is appropriate or inappropriate use.