The Parent’s Guide to Smartphone Safety: How to Protect Your Child Online


Smartphone Safety


The digital landscape has become a scary place, and parents are growing increasingly concerned about how to navigate their children’s safety and security in a digital era that is rampant with cyber criminals and predators that can cause harm to their children. We are in a day and age where children have more access to the internet, whether for watching educational content, online classes, or cartoons. However, parents need to play their part and be vigilant and responsible when their children are online. They need to ensure that children do not have access to inappropriate content and aren’t talking to predators online since children are easily vulnerable. If the current digital landscape has you worrying as a parent, then that’s completely understandable.

This guide has compiled the most effective tips and tricks to keep children safe and secure online navigating. You’ll find various tools on your phones to protect your children and other tips that will help ensure your children’s online safety. So, if you’re ready to uncover what they are, let’s get started.

What Are The Dangers of Parents Leaving Their Kids Unattended When They’re Online?

There are various dangers that parents need to be aware of when thinking about letting their children be online. They need to protect their children from these issues, and we’ll discuss how they can do this in the next section. Here’s why parents should think twice before leaving their kids unattended online:

1) Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has become a significant problem and is the harassment of individuals on the internet using various devices such as a computer and mobile phone and through other modes such as online forums, gaming chat rooms, and social media. Examples of cyberbullying that your children can encounter include demeaning text messages, spreading vicious rumors, and sharing embarrassing pictures. Since cyberbullying happens online, it can be challenging for parents and teachers to find out about it unless the child shares it themselves.

2) Inappropriate Content

If children are left unsupervised when they’re online, they can accidentally come across inappropriate content, like violence, explicit adult content, or hate speech, when they’re casually browsing the internet. This can have a negative impact on their behavior and development.

3) Online Predators

Predators are often lurking on social media and online gaming chatrooms to groom vulnerable children for exploitation and abuse. They usually sneakily pose as children to gain their trust before attempting to meet them in person and engage in inappropriate conversations. Parents need to carefully monitor who their children are speaking to when they’re online.

4) Eye Strain from Smart Phones

Too much screen time for children can cause itchiness, burning, and tired eyes in children. While children can better adapt to the high-energy and short-wavelength blue light that these devices emit, too much exposure to them can create lifelong health problems. This includes fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, and head and neck ache. Excessive screen time also affects their mental health and social skills. Children need to socialize rather than be home all day.

5) Decreased Attention Span

If children spend all of their online distracted by cartoons and online games, they cannot focus on their studies and exams. Excessive screen time affects their attention span and negatively impacts their academics. Children who have prolonged access to screens ultimately develop a decreased attention span. Modern technology continuously rewires people’s brains to expect and receive new information.

6) Privacy Concerns

Since children are innocent, they can unintentionally share their personal information online, which includes their location, photos, and contact details. This puts them at risk of identity theft, stalking, and cyberbullying. Parents must ensure their children aren’t sharing their personal information online.

What Are Some Strategies Can Parents Implement To Protect Their Children When They’re Online?

Now that we know the risks of leaving children unintended online, we must examine the best strategies to ensure children remain safe online. Some of the most effective methods that parents can implement include:

1) Parental Controls on iOS and Android

Parents need parental control over the devices their children use for various purposes. They need to have an iPhone parental control setup for their kids so that they’re safe online. To ensure that your parental control settings can sync across devices, update all the devices in your family sharing group to the latest software version before turning on or changing parental control settings.

  1. Go to Settings and click Screen Time.
  2. Click Turn on Screen Time, and then tap it again. Choose This is My [Device] or This is My Child’s [Device].
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode and turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. With the Content and Privacy restrictions on screen time, you can block and limit specific apps and features on your child’s device. You can also easily restrict your iPhone or iPad settings for explicit content, privacy, purchases, and downloads.

For children with access to Android devices, here’s how parents can set up parental controls on Android. Parents can restrict what content can be downloaded and purchased from Google Play based on the maturity level by using parental controls on Android. Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Open the Google Play Store.
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.
  3. Tap Settings > Family > Parental Controls.
  4. Turn on Parental Controls.
  5. To protect parental controls, create a PIN without disclosing it to your children.
  6. Select the type of content you’d like to filter.
  7. Choose how you’d like to filter and restrict access.

2) Use a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet traffic and masks your IP address, ensuring your data remains safe and secure from online threats. If your children use the internet on a public network, their sensitive data would be more vulnerable to interception. A VPN protects their data and protects it from prying eyes. So invest in a reliable VPN provider with excellent security features like a Kill Switch, Smart Mode, a strict No Logs Policy, and robust encryption protocols like OpenVPN and Wireguard.

3) Educate Online Safety

Teach your children the potential risks and dangers of the internet, like cyberbullying, online predators, and scams. Help them understand and identify how they can protect themselves online. This will help them avoid dangerous situations where they can be exploited online.

4) Setting Clear Rules & Boundaries

Parents must establish clear rules and guidelines for their children’s online activities, including the websites they visit, how much time they spend online, and what kind of information they’re allowed to share. Parents need to be consistent when it comes to enforcing these rules.

5) Stay Informed

Stay informed about the latest online threats, trends, and children’s privacy issues. Keep yourself updated with the various parental control tools, safety features, and readily available resources to help keep your children safe when they’re online.


The internet can be scary and uncertain, and it is sometimes not wise for parents to leave their children unsupervised. They must actively supervise and monitor their online activities to keep them safe and secure from online threats and predators. This guide outlines the various tools parents can use to protect their children and ensure their safety is the topmost priority.

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