TeenSafe Featured on The Guardian
Teensafe has made the news again, this time internationally! The app and service was featured in The Guardian, in an article titled “How can I control my child’s social media use?” that was published February 8.
A concerned mom wrote to The Guardian about access to her 14-year-old son’s devices and online accounts. The problem, she wrote, is that she has been locked out, and can no longer access accounts such as his Gmail and Instagram due to concerns over a toxic relationship with a girl.
No Age Restrictions
Parents may feel powerless in similar situations, especially since there are few age restrictions or limits required to register new social media accounts. Only Facebook demands real names, but they do not verify identities so fake accounts can be set up. Most other social media apps have a minimum age of 13, but this neither prevents tech-savvy younger kids from making accounts nor protects adolescent victims of bullying, harassment, sexting, or worse yet, the grooming of adult predators. Despite the governments of other countries trying to set different age restrictions, most follow the American guideline of 13 that is used by most social media platforms.
Whose Phone Is It?
The sticky part of device control revolves around who the device actually belongs to. Parents who have no parental controls set up on their children’s devices will find that they have to rely on the children for access. More often than not, it is the parents who are buying the devices and paying for the connection, so many parents feel they have a right to control or at least monitor the device, especially since there could be legal concerns for all parties involved. This is why many parents install apps like Teensafe before giving their children a new device.
Provider Parental Controls
Some apps and most service providers have some sort of site blocker that can be enabled on devices such as phones, tablets, or home computers. Many parents may not opt to use these services, though, because they often block innocent sites for no reason. There are apps and programs that can be used to block only certain sites, but these are not infallible.
No matter what, the best option is to talk to your kids regularly about online safety, and how your use of Teensafe will help you teach them to navigate the Internet without unwittingly falling prey to harm.