As a parent, I have decided that giving my children mobile phones is a necessity in this day and age. It’s not like the days when I grew up. It was a much safer period in time back then. Today, electronics can give you some piece of mind and a way to get in touch with your children anytime. However, I have noticed, as I am sure most parents do at one point, that kids do not use the best judgment when it comes to the use of their new technology. This is where we, as parents, need better controls. I don’t know about all of the services, but my suspicion is that most of them have very limited parental controls and the phone manufacturers are not implementing methods to help mitigate this deficiency.
For instance, I would like to allow my kids to text, but I want to prevent them from deleting anything from their inbox. Better yet, I would like to set up their phone or the service on their phone to save their sent messages on the server so at anytime I can see what they are sending. I would also like more granularity in what can be blocked, so, as an example, I would like to be able to block them from sending videos to their friends, but allow them to send simple text messages. Unfortunately, my provider only allows you to block all message types as one unit, so if I block MMS messages, SMS messages are blocked as well.
Phone manufacturers and service providers need to upgrade their systems to incorporate better user-controlled security, much like operating system and software manufacturers have been doing for years. In my opinion, this is should be considered a necessity. In this day and age of missing children and the exploitation of children, there should be an easy way for me to monitor all content to and from my child’s phone with or without their knowledge and to block phone calls or messages from anyone outside of a list that I set up in their phone. This function should be standard on all phones and in all phone operating systems.
In my opinion, both the phone manufacturers and service providers are giving us the technology to track and keep in touch with our kids, but they are dropping the ball when it comes to helping parents protect their kids from mobile phone attacks or protecting them from making bad decisions on the use of their new technology.