Smartphone 101

Jun 3, 2020 | Cyber Parenting - Privacy and Identity

They borrow your smartphone to play Candy Crush in the car. They’re masters of Minecraft on the tablet. Now, they want their own phone.

So what should you consider before giving them a new device? Is my child ready for a smartphone?

There’s no minimum age limit for mobile phones. It’s a personal decision. Many children get mobiles around the age of 11, when they start secondary school, and 90% of British teenagers now have one. A lot of parents like being able to stay in touch – but it’s worth making sure your child really needs a phone and that they are responsible enough to have one.

Which smartphone and tariff should I choose for my child?

Your child might well have a cool brand on their wish list but it’s worth looking for devices that let you manage the features, such as Restrictions on the iPhone or Kids Mode on the Samsung Galaxy range. You should choose price plans designed with families in mind. Available on pay monthly contracts Vodafone’s Red+ plan covers multiple SIM cards, so everyone in your family can have a device of their own and you can control each person’s data allowance from one place.

How much will this cost?

You can choose to pay monthly (sometimes called contract) or pay as you go (also called PAYG or pre-pay). Pay as you go, which uses top-up vouchers or credits, is popular for young people as it gives them more control. With Vodafone Red+, your child can contact you in an emergency even with no credit on their phone. It may be worth setting limits for your child’s smartphone use, such as how often and what they use it for. And remember that the cost of premium rate services (such as competition lines), apps and in-app purchases, as well as using the phone abroad, can quickly add up.

Did you know?

If you download data while you’re not connected to home-based broadband, it could put you over your monthly data limit. Downloading and streaming videos, music and other content can be expensive if you’re not using home broadband, so make sure your children know how mobile data works and why downloading data can sometimes end up costing extra.

Children and teens tend to use more data on average than adults, this is partly down to their streaming of content on YouTube or Tik Tok but also down to the usage on social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Some games that they play will also be played over the internet without them even realising. What can you do to stop huge overspend on your bills, either provide them with unlimited data or add a spend cap so that you can cap the amount you pay over by a certain amount?

Source: Vodafone Digital Parenting

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