Mobile phones, mobile dangers: Protecting children with cell phones
The cell phone in all its iterations -- from pre-paid to smartphones -- has become common throughout the world. According to the United Nations' telecommunications agency, the ITU, there will be over 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions by the end of this year.
Research the solutions -- Protecting children online is a growth industry. There are a number of commercial products available that can help your keep your children safe. Products like Safety Web and Net Nanny allow you to monitor your child's online activities and what's being posted about them, both vital in a time when kids can upload messages, pictures, and even videos from anywhere they have cell service. Other products like Guardian Angel or Firefly mobile phones offer wireless service that you can control, to keep your kids from accessing content you'd rather they avoided.
The cell phone markets have become saturated, leaving the wireless companies little choice but to search for new, untapped markets. Their primary targets? Kids. According to Mediamark Research and Intelligence to, the number of children ages 6-11 who own a cell phone nearly doubled from 2005-2009, reaching 20% last year. In the age 10-11 bracket, the numbers are even higher at 36%.
But, as with virtually any new technology, cell phones -- or the improper use of them -- can pose a danger. For children, these dangers can come in the form of cyberbullying, sexting, and online predators. For parents, it's often a matter of not being as tech savvy and informed as the children, leaving them in the dark as to what's really threatening their kids.