Should I Buy an Apple Watch for My Child?

I didn't stand in line to buy my Apple watch, but I admit that I ordered it online on the very first day.  Almost 6 weeks later, I pulled it out of the gorgeous Apple box and I sighed with pleasure. The watch was fabulous looking.

But being an eSafety expert is serious business, so I shook off the giddy feelings and got to work with my burning question: Is the Apple watch safe for kids?

First technology is a tool. It can work for good and unfortunately it can be used for bad. Think of a kitchen knife or a pair of scissors.  Good things to cut with, but dangerous in the wrong hands or with the wrong intent.  Same thing for technology.

So let's take a peek at the Apple watch. It's definitely a tool. It's a watch for goodness sake. A very, ultra, über, super cool watch, but it's a watch.  Beyond all the cool things that it can do (visit your local Apple dealer as I won't go into those details here), let's look at how the Apple watch can be used in the wrong...

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Tech Tales & Tips: Digital Role Model

Tech Tale:

Vanessa is a working mother who uses her laptop and smartphone to conduct business when she’s at home. In between giving her children a bath and preparing dinner, she can often be found skimming her emails on her smartphone or checking the news alerts for updates impacting her business. If she is under a deadline, she may even set-up her laptop in the kitchen and work a bit while waiting to pull a roast out of the oven.

Vanessa thought she had a handle on it all, juggling work and home life in admirable fashion, until she overheard her children one evening:

“We can’t ask mom, she’s on the computer again.”

“She’s always working. She never wants to play with us.”

“Let’s hide her smartphone.”

And the guilt sets in.

. . .

You and I both know that Vanessa is by no means a bad mother. She is just like you and me, trying to make it all work. She reminds me of that Enjoli commercial from the 80’s: She’s...

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Buying a Mobile Phone for Your Child

I won’t give you a lecture on what age is the appropriate age for purchasing a mobile phone for your child, but I will point you to a fantastic resource where you can ask yourself the following questions posed by Common Sense Media:

  • Are your kids pretty independent?
  • Do your children need to be in touch for safety reasons?
  • Would having easy access to friends benefit them for social reasons?
  • Do you think they’ll use a cell phone responsibly  – for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations?
  • Can they adhere to limits you set for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
  • Will they use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly and not to embarrass or harass others? (Source: Common Sense Media)

Once you decide that your child is ready for a cell phone, you need to educate yourself and your child and ensure that “protection” and “phone” go together.

Read up on mobile phone safety tips to keep your...

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Adblockers to Help You Get Rid of Ads

AUTHOR: Katherine Fitzgerald, Law student University of Paris 8

Let’s face it – advertising is everywhere – on radio, television, posters, and unfortunately the Internet. We all know how annoying it is to try and navigate through the web and be constantly blasted with suggestive (and more frequently explicit) pop-ups. Nowadays they are never ending and crude, repetitive and distasteful.

Whilst we are sometimes shocked or irritated by such pop-ups we are (unfortunately) no longer surprised by them. The same cannot be said of our children. Pop-ups are indiscriminate and will appear whoever is behind the screen – as such adverts with pornographic images are almost unavoidable to any child ‘surfing the internet’.

On a personal note, being sick of those images popping up on my computer screen, I was advised to download a free ‘adblocker’ program that acts as a filter on my search engine, blocking all pop-ups from appearing (and sparing me...

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