NBCNews.com – Children across the country are unwrapping new mobile devices this holiday season, but there are some things parents should do out of the box to protect their children and those devices.
“Celebrate the excitement but then have that really important talk, just like you wouldn’t give your children keys to a car without having car insurance,” Titania Jordan with Bark said.
Parents should have a conversation about ground rules, consequences, and online safety. According to parental control app Bark, the average age of online sexual harassment and cyberbullying is just 13-year-old.
“Over 50% of children each month with accounts on bark have issues like these flagged and sent to parents, so we know from our data this is really happening,” Jordan explained.
For about $10 a month, Bark can monitor your child’s social media accounts, texts, and apps and identify causes for concerns. There are also a number of free parental controls available from cell service providers and built-in on most devices.
“Both android and IOS have great parental controls now you can even set things like amout of screentime for various types of apps,” Suzanne Kantra with Techlicious said.
Be sure to protect any new accounts with strong passwords. A password manager such as Remem-Bear can make it easier.
“That way it can generate strong password for you then very easy to look up whenever you need to use it,” Kantra explained.
Of course, remember to protect the device itself with a screen protector and a shock-proof case. Experts say look for a tempered glass screen protector which offers better protection than plastic ones. You might also want to look at insurance through your mobile carrier to protect the device from loss or theft.