How parents can monitor, protect children with smartphones

Phones intentionally left in bathrooms, bars and on public transportation were hacked within minutes, according to the study. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

WASHINGTON – Most children want their own smartphones and if they get one, parents better be prepared.

Leonard Sax, a family physician and author of “Girls on the Edge: the Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls,” says when parents decide to give their child a smartphone, the onus is on them to make sure it’s not being misused.

“You’re responsible to know what photos they send and they receive. The principles of good parenting haven’t changed,” Sax says on WTOP.

Apps like Mobile Watch Dog and Net Nanny Mobile can help you keep an eye on their activity.

“As long as they can’t guess your password, then every photo they take — even before they send — it will go to your phone or your laptop — whatever you designate,” Sax says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests kids spend no more than two hours a day on Facebook and Twitter.

“Look, there is no privacy online. The most important thing you need to teach your kids about online anything is that there’s no privacy,” Sax says.

He suggests being direct with children who are using a phone that their actions are being monitored.

“The way you teach that is not preach it, the way you teach it is, ‘Hey if you don’t want me to see it, then don’t take it,'” Sax says.

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