Back-To-School Mobile Safety Tips for Parents

As kids prepare to head back to school, now is a great time for parents to remain connected with their activities – in the classroom, and on the go. The social media age makes it even more important for parents to keep track of their children and make sure their mobile devices are equipped for safe usage.Cara Fields, Regional Market Director at Cricket Wireless, and mom to a tech-savvy preteen, provides the following useful tips and apps to help parents stay on top of technology usage.

Helpful Device Tips

1. Pre-program all one-touch-dial emergency phone numbers in your child’s device. These numbers should include parents, 911, grandparents, a trusted relative or extended family member.

2. Inform children not to respond or send personal information to numbers they don’t recognize.

3. If your child’s cell phone has access to the Internet, find out if your service provider offers a parental control feature to which you can subscribe.

4. Caution children about the legal ramifications of viewing or sharing nude/sexually-explicit and violent pictures/videos.

5. Explain to teenagers the dangers of texting and driving.

Mobile Safety Apps

1. MamaBear is a FREE app that’s great for keeping your child safe. While it has location services, MamaBear also has a feature that watches over your child’s Facebook newsfeed and alerts you of any signs of bullying or harsh language.  This app is especially useful for parents of elementary aged children.

2. Famigo: Child Safety Lock is an extremely affordable (free for child-lock feature with limited content) subscription application that brings kids apps, games, video and web browsing together in one educational space. Rated #2 Family App by Time Magazine, Famigo also provides optional locking features to help parents filter content, blocks in-app purchasing and allows for five devices to be used per account.

3. Screen Time is a parental control app that enables parents to control how kids spend time on mobile devices. With this app, parents can monitor time spent on specific applications, set time limits and also utilize the bed time, lights out and school time features. Another cool feature is the ability to set tasks of which children can be awarded additional usage time for completing chores and other household activities.

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Cara Fields is the Regional Market Director for North Texas at Cricket Wireless. She currently resides in Dallas with her husband and son, and loves being active in her community.