eSafety: Smartphones

Smartphones are mobile phones with internet access. They are capable of a range of functions, including social networking, listening to music, playing games, browsing the internet, checking emails, taking photos and videos as well as texting and calling!

Many users have a lot of personal information stored on their smartphone, including photos, and they may also have automatic logins set up for email, social networking and bank accounts. It is always a good idea to set a password, so if someone does steal or find your phone then they can’t access any personal information you may have stored on it.

Each smartphone has different features but here is some advice to help get you started:

iPhone

iPhones are equipped with parental control settings on the device, but these need to be activated. Parental control settings for the iPhone are all in one place. In Settings, select General and then Restrictions. To switch on parental controls, click on Enable Restrictions and then decide and set the Restrictions Passcode. Then select Off for the functions you wish to disable. These include options to disable the internet browser and set up age restrictions for apps. You can set access permissions based on age rating of apps but be aware that these are provided by the app developer so may not always be equivalent to standard ratings. In-app purchases often occur in games, but young people may not be aware this is a ‘real money’ purchase. To prevent in-app purchases go to the parental controls and select Off for In-App Purchases.

Click HERE to access Apple's information about parental controls

BlackBerry

The most popular thing that young people use their BlackBerry for is to communicate using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). BBM is an instant messenger service for communicating with other BlackBerry users. It is a fast way of sharing information and chatting with friends. Users can send text messages, pictures, audio recordings, music files and emoticons (smileys) to their BBM contacts, or can 'broadcast' to multiple contacts at once. To use BBM, each phone has a unique 8 digit PIN, which is the BlackBerry equivalent of a phone number. Sharing your PIN with people allows them to contact you. Sharing your PIN on a social networking site is definitely not recommended!