How can I use my smartphone safely
Nowadays most teens carry mobile phones, the latest statistics say that 2 y 3 teens aged between 10 a 15 carry smartphones, but do you really know how to use them safely ?
Mobile phones are a wonderful tool and they are very useful for both parents and for teens, you can call your parents to pick you up, keep in touch with your friends through social networks, listen to music, take and send photos and of course you can play games on them. All these characteristics have turned smart phones into the number 1 form of communication.
There is no doubt that smartphones have become the link between friends, and for that reason most teens want one, these tools offer a great amount of satisfaction as long as they are used correctly, here are some tips and some advice regarding their usage.
Tips for teens.
1 -. Rules
You should sit down with your parents and together agree on a number of rules regarding the use of your mobile phone, which should be strictly followed. Remember that these rules are for your own safety.
2 -. Mobile Safety
As when you are using chat rooms or social networks you should always think about who you are texting or talking to. You should never text/talk to strangers about your personal life, personal details or about sex. You should only use the phone to communicate with people you know in the real world and not use It to make new cyber friends as this can be very dangerous.
2 -. Bullying by phone.
Cyberbullying and harassment has also reached the phone world, you should never use your phone to harass anyone and if at any point you feel harassed or uncomfortable you should tell your parents asap to avoid it escalating to a more serious matter. If you feel uncomfortable at any point with a conversation or situation tell your parents or your teachers about it and if you receive threatening messages or insults get in touch with your service provider.
3 -. Mobile Social Networking.
There is no doubt that the main reason you want a mobile phone is to be in touch with your pals through social networks as it allows you to be connected to your social network literally anywhere. The same common sense rules, which you apply to the use of social networks on your computer, should be used on your mobile phone.
4 -. Social mapping.
Nowadays most smart phones offer GPS technology which means you can pinpoint your friendsÕ physical location or you can be pinpointed by your friends. Remember that this technology should only be used with friends you know in person.
5 -. Media-sharing by phone
Most phones today have cameras and most smartphone have video cams, sharing media with friends is quite normal. Remember there is a personal-reputation and a safety aspect to this and always take into account that an innocent photograph can become very embarrassing or inappropriate in the wrong hands. You must also remember that both yourself and your friends have privacy rights and you shouldnÕt share other peopleÕs photos without their permission. Before publishing information or photos you need to consider the pros and cons of that information or photo being on the web as once you have published them you will lose all control over them and they could be used for other purposes than the ones you intended.
6 -. Text and Download Costs
Remember that a lot of the services which are available on your phone are not free and they must be paid for, sending SMS messages is quite expensive, using Whatsapp or similar message programs reduces the bill considerable and care must be taken when downloading music, games, photos, etc. as sometimes these systems hide a subscription service which charges you for every message you receive which can end up in an overwhelming bill arriving home at the end of the month. Also take into account that modern phones are affected by computer viruses which can be hidden behind downloads. When in doubt ask your parents before downloading anything onto your phone.
7 -. Protect your phone from strangers.
Protect your phone with a password and donÕt tell your friends your password, activate the automatic blocking system on the phone or if it doesnÕt have this option remember to block It every time you use it. Deactivate the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS systems on your phone when you arenÕt using them. You should regularly make a computer backup of your phone as this can be very useful if you lose your phone or it is stolen.
Keith Appleby (Director)