Pew Research Center survey results revealed that 95 percent of teens in the United States have access to or own a smartphone. Eighty-eight percent of teens have access to a home computer, whether a desktop or laptop. Additional results from the survey show that 45 percent of American teens use their phones on a near-constant basis, and 44 percent reported using their phones several times a day.
Technological advances and the Internet have changed the way people communicate. Internet users can interact with people living in their country and those across the world via web forums and social networking sites. Fifty-one percent of teens in the US use Facebook, 69 percent use Snapchat, 72 percent use Instagram, and 85 percent use YouTube. Smartphones have capabilities that make Internet use and web-facilitated communication efficient. With so many teenagers using smartphones and the Internet, parents should know who their children interact with, and ensure their online activities are safe.
While the entertainment, social interaction, and recreational activities offered by the Internet can be fun for teenagers, the web poses dangers that should concern parents. Parents may feel like they’re invading their children’s privacy, but listed below are valid reasons for tracking a child’s phone or computer exist.
Knowing Their Location
The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) published a report saying they contained 88,089 active missing person records as of December 31, 2017. When defining a juvenile as someone under 18 years old, juveniles claim 36.5 percent of the files. When setting this demographic as under 21 years old, juveniles claim 46.6 percent.
Parents may feel compelled to do anything they can to keep their children safe and protect them from ending up lost or missing. They can access a mobile tracker free to use via GoLookUp. GoLookUp is an online resource database that provides information such as arrest and criminal records, mugshots, phone numbers, and addresses. This website makes access to public data easy. It enables users to conduct background checks on themselves and others.
Parents can track their child’s mobile phone or their cellphone number by doing a reverse phone lookup. Reverse phone lookups provide information such as social media profiles, contact information, and location information.
Location information is useful in situations when children lie to their parents about where they are. Parents might need to arrive at their child’s location to keep them and others from danger. For example, some children may come home late because they’re smoking, drinking, or using other substances with others. They may be shoplifting, vandalizing property, or getting into fights. If parents ever find their child somewhere sick or injured, they should seek emergency care from urgent care services.
Being Aware of and Reporting Cyberbullying
In survey research conducted by Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin, 37 percent of student respondents, aged 12 to 17, reported being cyberbully victims. The researchers defined cyberbullying as repeated and intentional harassment, mistreatment, and making fun of someone online or when using cell phones or other devices. Typical forms of cyberbullying include mean spirited and hurtful comments and rumors. Cyberbullying can be online hate messages and death threats.
In many cases, children suffer in silence and don’t discuss cyberbullying with their parents. Parents who talk internet use with children and track their devices to view activity can uncover cyberbullying, report it, and help put an end to it. Whether someone’s child is a victim of a cyberbully or the bully, tracking the child’s social media activity and text messages can help stop bullying.
Keeping Your Child Safe from Predators
People should beware that the Internet allows strangers to reach their children and connect with them. While some strangers could be harmless, some of them may be a child predator with intentions to exploit and harm a child.
Data shows that 20 percent of teenagers in the United States with regular Internet use reported receiving unwanted sexual solicitation online. Solicitation refers to requests for sexual talk and activities and the sharing of personal sexual information. In these cases, 25 percent of teenagers told their parents.
Sexual predators target children and teenagers in chat rooms and any platform popular among young people. Predators often create fake profiles and identities; they fake interest in children’s favorite things to lure them into having conversations and connecting.
Some children may overshare personal information and give their full names, phone numbers, and home addresses, among other things. Parents who track their children’s devices and monitor their online activity can see what they share on the internet. Reverse lookups allow parents to obtain social media activity and information related to predators, enabling parents to report such people and their behavior. People should remind children of what’s safe to post online and what isn’t and prevent them from meeting predators in person.
When parents wish to discuss with their children what they uncovered through tracking their devices, they should be mindful that it’s a sensitive subject. They should reassure their children that they’ll be there for them and want their safety online and offline.