June is National Internet Safety Month and conversations between parents and kids about appropriate device use are more important than ever. A recent U.S. Cellular survey¹ revealed that 64 percent of parents admit to frequently monitoring their kid’s smartphone use, and 70 percent of families have rules about how to use the device. Not surprisingly, 39 percent of kids think those rules are too strict.
While each family is different, here are a few internet safety rules kids and parents should consider, together:
• Be careful what you share — never share sensitive or inappropriate content on social media or messaging platforms. Also, the old rule about not talking to strangers still applies online, and personal information like passwords, addresses, full names and phone numbers are sensitive pieces of information that should only be shared on trusted sites.
• Only access approved content — parents should consider knowing their kids’ passwords, and monitoring which apps and websites they’re using.
• Don’t check email or social media while driving; not only is it illegal, it’s dangerous. Messages can wait.
Family guidelines about healthy ways to use technology are also important. Some to consider include:
• Embrace smartphone etiquette. Silence phones in movie theaters, don’t look at your phone during a conversation and be responsive to the person you are with.
• Limit screen time. No technology can replace the importance of face-to-face interactions. Set a time limit and stick to it.
• Take breaks from social media. Vacations are a great time to unplug and be present with family.
• Device-free dinners. Leave the notifications for later. Focus instead on food and family.
U.S. Cellular encourages parents to visit http://www.childphoneagreement.com and create their own customized agreement to establish family guidelines for cellphone use.
¹ Between Nov. 8-17, 2017, a total of 706 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don’t and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. For the fourth time in a row, U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance, according to J.D. Power’s twice-annual U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.