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What You Need to Know About Your Child’s First Phone

What You Need to Know About Your Child’s First Phone

This year, when your child goes back to school, are you considering getting him or her a cell phone? It’s a great tool for safety, staying in touch and teaching responsibility. But there are important factors to keep in mind as you’re making this transition.

Give the phone a clean slate. 61% of kids’ first phones are hand-me-downs. Before your child receives a gently used phone, do a factory reset to remove all existing data (i.e. photos, emails, browser history), leaving only standard pre-installed apps like email, calling and messaging.

Connect to Wi-Fi and set mobile data limits. The last thing you need is a sky-high phone bill because your child uses too much mobile data. Default the phone to your home Wi-Fi because the Internet doesn’t cost extra when used through Wi-Fi. Choose a service provider that lets you set limits on your child’s mobile data usage, giving you better control of your family’s monthly phone bill.

Add important and emergency numbers. Remember to save important and backup phone numbers (i.e. parents, neighbors, grandparents, nanny) so your child can get in touch from day one.

Enable parental controls. Think of parental controls as training wheels so kids can learn to use the Internet responsibly. Parental restrictions eventually come off once you think your child is prepared to use the Internet on their own. iOS and Android devices offer parental control systems so you can control everything ranging from screen time limits to app restrictions and more.

Discuss privacy and personal safety with kids. It’s never too early to have an open conversation about Internet safety, from being mindful of what you post to being careful of who you meet online.

Turn your child’s phone into a GPS Tracker. Google Maps has a cool feature that lets you share locations in real-time, so you can supervise your children remotely. Slightly older kids can hang with friends on their own while letting parents know where they are.

Research data and expert advice provided by Ting.com.

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