20 Percent of Third Graders Own Cell Phones: Sexting Issue?

kids on computerThis article was written by Heather Campobello from WebProNews.

A startling new study finds that kids are at risk for sexting, cyberbullying, and more at a much younger age than originally thought. A new study surveyed 20,766 children from grades 3-12 in Massachusetts. The findings are from a self-report so children may not

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10 Parental Monitoring Tips for Cell Phones

Following Mondays article on parental monitoring and why you should be doing it, I thought we'd follow up with some tips for monitoring his or her phone. I am noticing more and more teens scrolling through Facebook pictures and checking their emails using their mobile phone all the time. And it's not just me.

Facebook's recent acquisition of Instagram, a photo sharing app for mobile devices, shows that users are increasingly going online using a phone.

Even so, statistics show that far fewer parents monitor their child's cell phone as rigorously as they do other Internet-enabled devices, like a laptop or desktop PC. If this is you, don't feel bad – start keeping your kids safer today with these 10 parental monitoring tips for cell phones.

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8 Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Cell Phone with Parental Controls

kids phoneIt may not happen until your child is 16, or it could happen as early as 6 – sooner or later, he is going to ask you for a cell phone. And when your child does, how are you going to answer? Your child's safety is a big deal, especially on a mobile phone, and you might want to consider parental monitoring or parental controls.

A cell phone, especially a smart phone, is a big responsibility. Here are 8 indicators that your child is ready to handle one. 

    1. He has shown responsibility with other big-ticket personal items

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Texting and Walking Can Be Hazardous, Too

We all know that texting while driving is dangerous – statistics agree that it's even riskier than driving drunk. But even if your child isn't even close to receiving his or her license, you're not off the hook just yet. Texting also presents a potentially fatal distraction while simply crossing the street.

In a recent study published by the University of Alabama, 10- and 11-year-olds were observed walking across the street in a simulated environment, several times while using their phones and several times while not using their phones. Researchers found that children using a cell phone took 20% longer to cross the road, were 20% less likely to look both ways, and were twice as likely to be hit by a car. Your kids safety may be affected by using their phones even when they are walking!

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Technology Blurring the Line Between Right and Wrong: Kids Safety

Cell phones keep us connected. They're convenient, save us time, and could even save our lives in a true emergency. But when used irresponsibly, mobile phones can wreak havoc. And it appears that technology is blurring the line between right and wrong – for our kids, anyway.

One study from Common Sense Media reports that 1 in 3 kids use their cell phones to cheat on tests, but that 1 in 4 kids surveyed didn't think that accessing notes during a test, texting friends with answers during a test, or using their cell to search the Internet for answers is cheating.

The incidence of plagiarism, the other bane of a teacher's existence, has skyrocketed since the advent of the Internet. How much easier is it to cut and paste blocks of text, maybe even mixing them up a bit to make the work appear original, than to painstakingly transcribe words from a copyrighted book or magazine article?

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Child Getting a New Phone? Better Have a Parental Monitoring Tool

What are the conditions of giving your child a cell phone? Whatever is acceptable for your child, it's important to clearly communicate those rules in a parent/child cell phone contract.

As adults, we have to sign a “terms of use” agreement for pretty much everything we do. It lets us know what's expected of us and what happens if we break our word. Kids who receive a cell phone from their parents need exactly the same thing.

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Teen Killed Texting While Driving, Kids Safety Alert

Teen and kids safety alert: Alexis Summers, age 17, was killed in a fatal car crash as she texted at the wheel while driving early in November. What makes her death particularly poignant is the fact that she died only 8 hours after her home state of Pennsylvania passed a bill to make texting while driving illegal.

On the way home from visiting her boyfriend, Alexis's car left the road, hit a tree, spun around, and collided with the tree a second time. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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What's the Right Age for a Cell Phone? Kids' Safety a Factor?

How old was your child when they got their first cell phone? 14? 12? 8? If your pre-teen is begging you for a phone of their own and telling you that “all their friends” have one – they're probably not lying. The average age of kids who receive their first cell phone is falling like a brick. So how much does kids safety come into play?

A Pew Internet Forum survey in 2009 asked parents of cell phone owners the question, “How old was your child when s/he got her/his first phone?” The average age was 11-12. Of kids who owned cell phones, 46% got them in the 11-12 year age bracket.

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Teen Texting While Driving

textingAround 50% of teens admit to texting while driving, and that’s a really scary thought for parents who have a new driver in the house.

Teens are already the riskiest class of drivers. They are inexperienced, exhibit slower reaction times, and often aren’t paying attention to much other than the car in front of them. Teens also think they are invincible, not imagining that unsafe behavior can hurt them or someone else.

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Cell Phone Use Among 6-12 Year Olds

kids on phonesThings were sure different when we were kids. If we needed to call mom and dad away from home, we had to find a pay phone. But cell phones are becoming more and more common with our kids, even among those as young as 6 years old.

Kids and Mobile Phones

In 2008, 51% of 12-year-olds owned cell phones, up from 18% in 2004. Among tween mobile phone owners, the average age of receiving the first phone is 10 or 11.

Parents are ostensibly providing their kids with cell phones so that they can keep tabs on them, stay connected, and make sure their kids always have access to help when they need it. But what is a 7-year-old doing with his phone, anyway?

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Teen Internet Safety and Mobile Phones

teen internet safetyPutting the family computer in a well-trafficked, central location of the house has always been one of the first lines of defense for parents who want to keep their kids safe online. But monitoring kids' online life is harder for parents in this decade because of Internet-enabled cell phones.

The traditional computer still appears to be the method of choice for going online (probably because of the bigger screen and the easy-to-maneuver computer mouse), but the cell phone is catching up fast.

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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