Have No Fear: Phone Parental Controls Can Ease Your Mind
Your kids, like everyone else, are using smartphones. And if you’re like the roughly two-thirds of parents who worry that their teens spend too much time in front of screens, you should know what measures to take to protect your child’s safety, both online and in real life.
Here are some common-sense guidelines about smartphone parental controls to ease your mind and discover what kind of control
Screen Time Limits
Keeping track of how much time kids spend on their devices and how they’re spending it is essential. Many apps and services, like Norton Family Premier, will not only set limits on screen time, they’ll also send a detailed analysis of your child’s viewing history right to your inbox. You can even monitor what search terms interest your kids most and flag any unsafe behavior.
Your phone might also have a native screen-time calculator, like Apple’s Screen Time app or Google’s Digital Wellbeing app that you can use to check your kids’ (and your own) screen time. Set weekly goals and see how everyone is tracking to them to make it a family discussion.
Call & Text Monitoring
Make sure you know who your child is talking to and what they’re saying. Boomerang gives you phone parental control that lets you choose whether to track certain phrases and conversations or to monitor all text activity. You can also choose to get notifications for all calls and texts, as well as updates on app usage and approval over any new downloads.
From YouTube to social media to searching the web, kids are consuming a lot of content online. It’s especially important to track the kind of content they see. Content-filtering apps like Pumpic allow you to filter offensive content from certain apps and sites, limit access or block it altogether. As a bonus all-ages safety measure, you’ll also be able to wipe the device remotely if it gets lost or stolen.
Location-Based Tracking & Geofencing
When you need to keep track of your child or an elderly parent or relative, location-based tracking is a huge help. Enable GPS sharing on your loved one’s phone so you can check their location at any time, or download an app like OurPact that will ping your phone whenever they arrive at or leave a designated area, like school or home.
It can seem daunting to stay on top of your kids’ tech use, but the above guidelines are a great place to start. Want to stay up to date with the latest devices and technology your kids might be using? Visit U.S. Cellular to shop smartphones, home accessories and more.
- Jiang, Jingjing. “How Teens and Parents Navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 30 Nov. 2018, www.pewinternet.org/2018/08/22/how-teens-and-parents-navigate-screen-time-and-device-distractions/.