About Safe Search

Safe Search Kids is powered by Google for filtered search results.

Safe Image Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe filtered images, powered by Google.

Safe Wiki Search

Safe Search Kids delivers safe wiki articles for kids and teens.

Safe Video Search

Search for safe filtered videos from a variety of trusted sources.

Category: Online Safety for Kids

A Teens Guide to Social Media Safety

social media safety teens

Parents can worry about a lot. Like everything else in this world, social media is something that the adults in your life will get nervous about. While there’s good reason for that, it’s not easy for you to understand why Facebook or Twitter is such a big deal.

(This article is directed at teens. Parents, read what you can do here).

There are many different reasons why social media can be a dangerous playground. While the horror stories all focus on kids being lured or abducted, there are far more threats that are less severe. No matter your age or sex, it is important to follow some important rules for social media safety.

Before you roll your eyes, please know these guidelines exist to protect you! It’s not about telling you what you can and can’t do… it’s about offering guidelines to protect you from being ripped off, bullied, disrespected, scammed, or worse while you’re just trying to have a good time online.

Check Your Privacy Settings

In most cases, the default privacy settings will give your posts the most public exposure which can be very dangerous.

Important Privacy Setting Resource Links:
Facebook Privacy Settings / Twitter Privacy Settings / Control Visibility on Instagram

Why It’s Important

If you’ve never checked or updated your privacy settings, then people you don’t even know can see your posts. Even if you think you are being careful about what you post, it’s common for teens to post sensitive information without even realizing it. It could be something as simple as an identifying background in one of your pictures… but online predators find easy prey in public profiles.

In a nutshell, keep your social profile strictly private… the best settings are where only friends can see what you post because you never really know who your friends are friends with online, so the “Friends of Friends” setting can leave you exposed and vulnerable.

Be Cautious of Friend Requests

Sure, it’s great to connect with new people through social people… but isn’t there something suspicious when a complete stranger sends you a friend request?

Play it safe and only accept friend requests from friends in the real world.

Apart from the obvious (more severe) threats… friend requests from strangers more commonly turn out to be spam bots (meaning you’ll be spamming your friends). Fake profiles are also created for cyber bullying. So when a new friend request comes in, and you think you know the person, be sure to check their profile first and see if anything looks fishy.

Think Before You Post!

Limit personal contact information in your profile and posts. Never give away your phone number or address. Keep private information private. If you want to share this information with a friend, do it directly by phone or text.

Why It’s Important

Teenagers tend to have a reckless, impulsive approach to social media. (No offense.)

That’s why it’s important to think first before you post what you are thinking or feeling. Even though you can delete something (a post, picture, comment, etc.) you can never permanently erase something that has been published on the internet. That’s also a good reason why you should face your problems instead of Facebooking them. 🙂

More Tips for Online Safety:

  • Avoid using location services like Foursquare and disable location services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. when posting photos. It’s cool, sure… but it’s not necessary and the risk is greater than the reward.
  • Avoid posting that you are going on vacation, or posting pictures while on vacation… until you are back home. Be also aware of the ramifications of using your cell phone at school and discuss responsible behavior within school guidelines.
  • If you do meet somebody new online, never agree to meet them off line. If somebody you met online sends or requests provocative pictures, tell an adult. You have to approach online friends (who you don’t know in the real world) as a potential predator… because even if it feels like you know them; you really don’t know who they are.

Parents can worry about a lot. Like everything else in this world, social media is something that the adults in your life will get nervous about. While there’s good reason for that, it’s not easy for you to understand why Facebook or Twitter is such a big deal.

(This article is directed at teens. Parents, read what you can do here).

There are many different reasons why social media can be a dangerous playground. While the horror stories all focus on kids being lured or abducted, there are far more threats that are less severe. No matter your age or sex, it is important to follow some important rules for social media safety.

Before you roll your eyes, please know these guidelines exist to protect you! It’s not about telling you what you can and can’t do… it’s about offering guidelines to protect you from being ripped off, bullied, disrespected, scammed, or worse while you’re just trying to have a good time online.

Check Your Privacy Settings

In most cases, the default privacy settings will give your posts the most public exposure which can be very dangerous.

Important Privacy Setting Resource Links:
Facebook Privacy Settings / Twitter Privacy Settings / Control Visibility on Instagram

Why It’s Important

If you’ve never checked or updated your privacy settings, then people you don’t even know can see your posts. Even if you think you are being careful about what you post, it’s common for teens to post sensitive information without even realizing it. It could be something as simple as an identifying background in one of your pictures… but online predators find easy prey in public profiles.

In a nutshell, keep your social profile strictly private… the best settings are where only friends can see what you post because you never really know who your friends are friends with online, so the “Friends of Friends” setting can leave you exposed and vulnerable.

Be Cautious of Friend Requests

Sure, it’s great to connect with new people through social people… but isn’t there something suspicious when a complete stranger sends you a friend request?

Play it safe and only accept friend requests from friends in the real world.

Apart from the obvious (more severe) threats… friend requests from strangers more commonly turn out to be spam bots (meaning you’ll be spamming your friends). Fake profiles are also created for cyber bullying. So when a new friend request comes in, and you think you know the person, be sure to check their profile first and see if anything looks fishy.

Think Before You Post!

Limit personal contact information in your profile and posts. Never give away your phone number or address. Keep private information private. If you want to share this information with a friend, do it directly by phone or text.

Why It’s Important

Teenagers tend to have a reckless, impulsive approach to social media. (No offense.)

That’s why it’s important to think first before you post what you are thinking or feeling. Even though you can delete something (a post, picture, comment, etc.) you can never permanently erase something that has been published on the internet. That’s also a good reason why you should face your problems instead of Facebooking them. 🙂

More Tips for Online Safety:

  • Avoid using location services like Foursquare and disable location services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. when posting photos. It’s cool, sure… but it’s not necessary and the risk is greater than the reward.
  • Avoid posting that you are going on vacation, or posting pictures while on vacation… until you are back home. Be also aware of the ramifications of using your cell phone at school and discuss responsible behavior within school guidelines.
  • If you do meet somebody new online, never agree to meet them off line. If somebody you met online sends or requests provocative pictures, tell an adult. You have to approach online friends (who you don’t know in the real world) as a potential predator… because even if it feels like you know them; you really don’t know who they are.

CyberBullying: A Word for Parents

cyberbullying guide for parents

There was a time when bullying was something we all had to endure in school, on the bus, and hanging out with friends. It was always unpleasant. The next generation, our children, have an even worse type of bullying to deal with… and it’s so much more common than what we suffered!

About CyberBullying

Remember how frustrating it was in school when somebody was upset and reacted passive aggressively, usually by spreading a rumor? How the victim of a bully (maybe it was you, maybe it was one of your friends) would feel singled out, how hard it was to go to school and deal with the drama.

Your children deal with passive aggressive bullying all the time… because the internet brings out the passive aggressive in almost every young person. From shy kids to the straight forward, outspoken kid… cyberbullying can happen by accident. But as you remember about being the victim of a bully… the wounds never heal.

What’s even worse about cyberbullying is this. When a direct conflict among friends is resolved, you can forget and forgive the hurtful things that were said. However, you can never erase them from the internet.

With that in mind, it’s important to be very sensitive when talking about cyberbullying with your child. And yes, if your kid is using the internet than you do need to talk about this!

Teaching Your Child How To Not Be a CyberBully

As mentioned before, the internet brings out certain behaviors in young folk. Of course your child knows not to pick on somebody in person, but do they know not to rant and rave on social media when what they say could unintentionally hurt somebody else?

Watch for passive aggressive behaviors, and teach your children to face their problems (directly) rather than Facebooking them or through any type of social media.

If your child is 13 or younger, you should have their social media log in info, and don’t share the password with your child. This way, you can easily check in on them and you can also protect your child from being the victim of a “hacker” cyberbully by preventing anyone else from finding out how to log into their account.

Cyberbullying is even more common with older teenagers (age 14-17), especially when they have a smartphone that allows them to post on impulse. Teach them to think before they post, and make sure they understand how important it is to never post anything that could hurt somebody else… or could come back to haunt them.

What To Do If Your Child is the Victim of a CyberBully

Be the parent that a child can feel comfortable talking to if they are being harassed or directly attacked online. Be kind and understanding, and be sensitive to their needs. The rest is really up to you, as a parent.

If the harassment is severe enough, you can involve other authorities (the school or the police.) As you may remember, this could backfire on your child so it shouldn’t be your first choice. If the bullying has started over personal drama, encourage your child to confront the person in real life and come to a resolution. Do not “feed the trolls” or respond to cyberbullying online… bring it back to real world interaction.

To protect your child from becoming the victim of a cyberbully, encourage them to make friends with other children who are kind and respectful. Teach your children that friends who are always “surrounded by drama” can be dangerous… you never know when you’ll get sucked into it!

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyber bully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyberbully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

There was a time when bullying was something we all had to endure in school, on the bus, and hanging out with friends. It was always unpleasant. The next generation, our children, have an even worse type of bullying to deal with… and it’s so much more common than what we suffered!

About CyberBullying

Remember how frustrating it was in school when somebody was upset and reacted passive aggressively, usually by spreading a rumor? How the victim of a bully (maybe it was you, maybe it was one of your friends) would feel singled out, how hard it was to go to school and deal with the drama.

Your children deal with passive aggressive bullying all the time… because the internet brings out the passive aggressive in almost every young person. From shy kids to the straight forward, outspoken kid… cyberbullying can happen by accident. But as you remember about being the victim of a bully… the wounds never heal.

What’s even worse about cyberbullying is this. When a direct conflict among friends is resolved, you can forget and forgive the hurtful things that were said. However, you can never erase them from the internet.

With that in mind, it’s important to be very sensitive when talking about cyberbullying with your child. And yes, if your kid is using the internet than you do need to talk about this!

Teaching Your Child How To Not Be a CyberBully

As mentioned before, the internet brings out certain behaviors in young folk. Of course your child knows not to pick on somebody in person, but do they know not to rant and rave on social media when what they say could unintentionally hurt somebody else?

Watch for passive aggressive behaviors, and teach your children to face their problems (directly) rather than Facebooking them or through any type of social media.

If your child is 13 or younger, you should have their social media log in info, and don’t share the password with your child. This way, you can easily check in on them and you can also protect your child from being the victim of a “hacker” cyberbully by preventing anyone else from finding out how to log into their account.

Cyberbullying is even more common with older teenagers (age 14-17), especially when they have a smartphone that allows them to post on impulse. Teach them to think before they post, and make sure they understand how important it is to never post anything that could hurt somebody else… or could come back to haunt them.

What To Do If Your Child is the Victim of a CyberBully

Be the parent that a child can feel comfortable talking to if they are being harassed or directly attacked online. Be kind and understanding, and be sensitive to their needs. The rest is really up to you, as a parent.

If the harassment is severe enough, you can involve other authorities (the school or the police.) As you may remember, this could backfire on your child so it shouldn’t be your first choice. If the bullying has started over personal drama, encourage your child to confront the person in real life and come to a resolution. Do not “feed the trolls” or respond to cyberbullying online… bring it back to real world interaction.

To protect your child from becoming the victim of a cyberbully, encourage them to make friends with other children who are kind and respectful. Teach your children that friends who are always “surrounded by drama” can be dangerous… you never know when you’ll get sucked into it!

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyber bully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

What can a child or teen do to empower themselves against a cyberbully? Have them read our article on CyberBullying: for Kids and Teens.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

We understand that online safety is a top priority for parents and teachers who are providing internet access to younger children and teens alike. Safe search resources for the internet should not replace proper parental or teacher supervision.

Here are few tips to encourage internet safety when surfing the world wide web whether at home or in school.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Have an open conversation with your kids about safe browsing and computer use. With freedom comes responsibility.

Do not replace parental or teacher supervision of computer use at home or at school with our safe search engine or any other. No search filtering software or tool is perfect.

A good rule of thumb is to not allow internet use when a child is home alone without proper supervision, even with this Search Site for Kids search engine.

Educate yourself on social media safety and have open discussions with teens about present dangers and long term effects of inappropriate conduct, including posting pictures online.

Keep your computer in an open area. If your computer is in a home office, make a rule that doors are always left open when online.

It’s not a good idea to allow computers or laptops in your kids bedrooms, even while using the free internet filter, unless they are close to the main area of the house such as the kitchen or living room with doors left open.

Educate yourself on how to stay safe when using social media: Read about Social Media Safety: For Parents / For Teens

Do not allow internet use after you’ve gone to bed at night no matter how good your computer security software is or how confident you are in kids search engines.

Consider installing parental control software to give you completed control over how kids access the internet.

If your child is searching for videos on YouTube, learn how you can activate YouTube parental controls.

Do not allow file sharing programs to be installed on your computer. Only use safe and secure music download programs from trusted sources on the internet.

Internet Safety Tips  – What Kids Can Do!

Do not give out personal information about yourself online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, where you live or your telephone number.

Never to agree to meet someone that you have met online. If you do not know the person in ‘real life’, tell your parents about anyone this is asking to meet you.

Talk to your parents first about pictures you want to post online, whether they be of yourself or your friends and family members.

Do not respond to messages you receive that are mean or speaking meanly about others. Tell your parents about these messages.

Do not give out any of your passwords to friends or anyone you meet online.

Check with your parents first before downloading or installing any software on your computer.

Ensure privacy settings on activated on all of social media websites you use.

Always be kind of others online. Do not do anything that may hurt others including joining in conversations discussing other people’s problems.

Be careful about discussing details about your own personal problems with your friends online. It is better to speak to them in person. Tell your parents or teacher if you are struggling with something.

Remember that the rules for online safety also apply to texting on your phone.

Agree to computer rules set up by your parents, teachers or guardians. With freedom and trust comes the expectation that you will act responsibly.

Internet Filtering Software Solutions!

Internet Accountability: The Covenant Eyes Filter provides options: Decide the times of day the Internet may be used, and how much time per day or per week the Internet may be surfed under each username. Choose whether to block or to allow specific websites specific to each username.  This software can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols. The basic Covenant Eyes Accountability feature teaches safe browsing habits. Just knowing that an extra set of eyes in watching, encourages your family members to be responsible when surfing the internet. Learn more.

For complete control, especially for younger children or for those times you are not available to monitor computer activity, explore parental control software which actually blocks access to inappropriate content online.

Internet safety should be the first priority of any parent or guardian when seeking protection of children online. It certainly can be a balance to juggle freedom on the internet with a safe level of online restrictions. Implement safe search using a kids search engine along with a filtering software program. Safe Search for Kids is designed to work hand in hand with supervision by parents and educators.

We understand that online safety is a top priority for parents and teachers who are providing internet access to younger children and teens alike. Safe search resources for the internet should not replace proper parental or teacher supervision.

Here are few tips to encourage internet safety when surfing the world wide web whether at home or in school.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Have an open conversation with your kids about safe browsing and computer use. With freedom comes responsibility.

Do not replace parental or teacher supervision of computer use at home or at school with our safe search engine or any other. No search filtering software or tool is perfect.

A good rule of thumb is to not allow internet use when a child is home alone without proper supervision, even with this Search Site for Kids search engine.

Educate yourself on social media safety and have open discussions with teens about present dangers and long term effects of inappropriate conduct, including posting pictures online.

Keep your computer in an open area. If your computer is in a home office, make a rule that doors are always left open when online.

It’s not a good idea to allow computers or laptops in your kids bedrooms, even while using the free internet filter, unless they are close to the main area of the house such as the kitchen or living room with doors left open.

Educate yourself on how to stay safe when using social media: Read about Social Media Safety: For Parents / For Teens

Do not allow internet use after you’ve gone to bed at night no matter how good your computer security software is or how confident you are in kids search engines.

Consider installing parental control software to give you completed control over how kids access the internet.

If your child is searching for videos on YouTube, learn how you can activate YouTube parental controls.

Do not allow file sharing programs to be installed on your computer. Only use safe and secure music download programs from trusted sources on the internet.

Internet Safety Tips  – What Kids Can Do!

Do not give out personal information about yourself online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, where you live or your telephone number.

Never to agree to meet someone that you have met online. If you do not know the person in ‘real life’, tell your parents about anyone this is asking to meet you.

Talk to your parents first about pictures you want to post online, whether they be of yourself or your friends and family members.

Do not respond to messages you receive that are mean or speaking meanly about others. Tell your parents about these messages.

Do not give out any of your passwords to friends or anyone you meet online.

Check with your parents first before downloading or installing any software on your computer.

Ensure privacy settings on activated on all of social media websites you use.

Always be kind of others online. Do not do anything that may hurt others including joining in conversations discussing other people’s problems.

Be careful about discussing details about your own personal problems with your friends online. It is better to speak to them in person. Tell your parents or teacher if you are struggling with something.

Remember that the rules for online safety also apply to texting on your phone.

Agree to computer rules set up by your parents, teachers or guardians. With freedom and trust comes the expectation that you will act responsibly.

Internet Filtering Software Solutions!

Internet Accountability: The Covenant Eyes Filter provides options: Decide the times of day the Internet may be used, and how much time per day or per week the Internet may be surfed under each username. Choose whether to block or to allow specific websites specific to each username.  This software can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols. The basic Covenant Eyes Accountability feature teaches safe browsing habits. Just knowing that an extra set of eyes in watching, encourages your family members to be responsible when surfing the internet. Learn more.

For complete control, especially for younger children or for those times you are not available to monitor computer activity, explore parental control software which actually blocks access to inappropriate content online.

Internet safety should be the first priority of any parent or guardian when seeking protection of children online. It certainly can be a balance to juggle freedom on the internet with a safe level of online restrictions. Implement safe search using a kids search engine along with a filtering software program. Safe Search for Kids is designed to work hand in hand with supervision by parents and educators.

Cell Phone Safety Tips

cell phone safety tips

Once upon a time… kids would have to go outside to play a game with friends, get up to change the TV channel manually, and would have to walk 3 miles to school—uphill, both ways. A little further down the road, kids have access to newfangled technology and their parents are struggling to keep up with it all.

If you’re the parent of a teenager (or even an almost-teenager, tween) you may already be familiar with the pressure but still the the numbers are still shocking:

  • A whopping 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • Furthermore, 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone!
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • A large group of parents were asked what age would be appropriate for a child to get their first cell phone. 22% of those parents felt that 10 was a good age!

So if you haven’t been asked the following question yet… get ready, it’s coming very soon.

“Mom/Dad, Can I Have a Smart Phone?”

In all honesty, it becomes harder and harder to say no. We all remember being on the other end of “but everyone else has one!” and how frustrating it felt when your parents didn’t understand. So, we try to understand because we remember feeling excluded from their generation, and we don’t want to put our kids through that same torture.

Most parents will set forth ground rules similar to giving a child a puppy (remember when that was what they wanted?!). Here’s a sample:

Cell Phone Contract for a Teenager:

  • I do not own this phone. My parents are awesome, and they are giving me the privilege of using this phone.
  • Nothing is free. This phone, and the ability to use it, costs money. I will work hard to earn this privilege.
  • (Prepaid phones / limited texts are a good idea for teenagers.) I will not exceed my limit for monthly calls or texts.
  • I will take care of my phone. If I break it, I have to replace it. If I lose it, I have to replace it.
  • I will never use this phone in an inappropriate way.

More specifically, I will never use this phone to:

– Send a mean or hurtful text. If I have a disagreement with somebody, we will talk face to face.

– Talk or text after 9 PM.

– Have inappropriate text conversations.

– Send or receive inappropriate images.

– Follow policies regarding cell phone use in school.

– Talk or text while driving.

– If I decide to put a lock screen on my phone, my parents will know the password or code. My parents will have access to all of my phone call history and text message history.

{Parents} agree to respect my privacy and will only use their rights of access if I have shown suspicious behavior.

– I understand that this phone may be taken away if I am on it too much, or if I express negative behavior including talking back or failing to keep up with my chores.

– If my grades drop, I will lose this phone until I have brought my grades back up.

– If my phone has the ability to surf the internet, I will use a Safe Search Engine. (For the mobile version of Safe Search Kids, use http://www.safesearchkids.com/app.html or search for our app in the app store – enter search term “Safe Search Kids”. *Learn more about this tool at the bottom of this article).

These are sample items that you may use or modify to create a cell phone contract with your teenager. However, it doesn’t stop there.

As parents of a teenager with a smart phone, you are responsible for:

• Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.

• Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.

• Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.

• Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.

• Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

• Enforcing the rules.

In the end, you are the parent. Unless your teenager has a job and is paying for his or her own phone and phone bill, you should have full control over the situation. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and revoke– or deny– the privilege until your teenager shows full responsibility on their end.

Safe Internet Use on Smart Phones

*The ability to browse the internet (for tweens and teens that have access to the internet on their cell phone) opens up an entirely new area of safety concerns. Not only can kids search the web more discreetly, most parents do not view this activity as of much of a risk as they do allowing their kids to search on a regular computer. The fact is, the dangers are just as real and even worse when you consider that with a smart phone, kids can search the internet outside of the watchful eye of parents while using their cell phone in school.

We have a safe search tools for kids. It is more of a phone friendly version of our site that automatically ensures safe search is on at http://www.safesearchkids.com/app.html or enter “Safe Search Kids” in your phones app store to get the links. Having your tweens and teens agree to use this version of search will automatically ensure safe filtering is always on. That said, you still need to set up guidelines that allow you to view history on their phone when needed, as well has having them promise to not delete their history knowing you may look at it.

An open conversation about all of these issues is vital to instilling responsible behavior from kids of all ages. To explore internet filtering with more parental control, explore internet filtering software, which can also be activated on smart phones.

Once upon a time… kids would have to go outside to play a game with friends, get up to change the TV channel manually, and would have to walk 3 miles to school—uphill, both ways. A little further down the road, kids have access to newfangled technology and their parents are struggling to keep up with it all.

If you’re the parent of a teenager (or even an almost-teenager, tween) you may already be familiar with the pressure but still the the numbers are still shocking:

  • A whopping 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • Furthermore, 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone!
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • A large group of parents were asked what age would be appropriate for a child to get their first cell phone. 22% of those parents felt that 10 was a good age!

So if you haven’t been asked the following question yet… get ready, it’s coming very soon.

“Mom/Dad, Can I Have a Smart Phone?”

In all honesty, it becomes harder and harder to say no. We all remember being on the other end of “but everyone else has one!” and how frustrating it felt when your parents didn’t understand. So, we try to understand because we remember feeling excluded from their generation, and we don’t want to put our kids through that same torture.

Most parents will set forth ground rules similar to giving a child a puppy (remember when that was what they wanted?!). Here’s a sample:

Cell Phone Contract for a Teenager:

  • I do not own this phone. My parents are awesome, and they are giving me the privilege of using this phone.
  • Nothing is free. This phone, and the ability to use it, costs money. I will work hard to earn this privilege.
  • (Prepaid phones / limited texts are a good idea for teenagers.) I will not exceed my limit for monthly calls or texts.
  • I will take care of my phone. If I break it, I have to replace it. If I lose it, I have to replace it.
  • I will never use this phone in an inappropriate way.

More specifically, I will never use this phone to:

– Send a mean or hurtful text. If I have a disagreement with somebody, we will talk face to face.

– Talk or text after 9 PM.

– Have inappropriate text conversations.

– Send or receive inappropriate images.

– Follow policies regarding cell phone use in school.

– Talk or text while driving.

– If I decide to put a lock screen on my phone, my parents will know the password or code. My parents will have access to all of my phone call history and text message history.

{Parents} agree to respect my privacy and will only use their rights of access if I have shown suspicious behavior.

– I understand that this phone may be taken away if I am on it too much, or if I express negative behavior including talking back or failing to keep up with my chores.

– If my grades drop, I will lose this phone until I have brought my grades back up.

– If my phone has the ability to surf the internet, I will use a Safe Search Engine. (For the mobile version of Safe Search Kids, use http://www.safesearchkids.com/app.html or search for our app in the app store – enter search term “Safe Search Kids”. *Learn more about this tool at the bottom of this article).

These are sample items that you may use or modify to create a cell phone contract with your teenager. However, it doesn’t stop there.

As parents of a teenager with a smart phone, you are responsible for:

• Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.

• Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.

• Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.

• Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.

• Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

• Enforcing the rules.

In the end, you are the parent. Unless your teenager has a job and is paying for his or her own phone and phone bill, you should have full control over the situation. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and revoke– or deny– the privilege until your teenager shows full responsibility on their end.

Safe Internet Use on Smart Phones

*The ability to browse the internet (for tweens and teens that have access to the internet on their cell phone) opens up an entirely new area of safety concerns. Not only can kids search the web more discreetly, most parents do not view this activity as of much of a risk as they do allowing their kids to search on a regular computer. The fact is, the dangers are just as real and even worse when you consider that with a smart phone, kids can search the internet outside of the watchful eye of parents while using their cell phone in school.

We have a safe search tools for kids. It is more of a phone friendly version of our site that automatically ensures safe search is on at http://www.safesearchkids.com/app.html or enter “Safe Search Kids” in your phones app store to get the links. Having your tweens and teens agree to use this version of search will automatically ensure safe filtering is always on. That said, you still need to set up guidelines that allow you to view history on their phone when needed, as well has having them promise to not delete their history knowing you may look at it.

An open conversation about all of these issues is vital to instilling responsible behavior from kids of all ages. To explore internet filtering with more parental control, explore internet filtering software, which can also be activated on smart phones.