Most parents allow their teenager to carry a cell phone primarily for emergencies and to stay in touch with family members. As the school year begins, many of these same parents will allow their teenager to bring their cell phone to school with them. With after school activities and sports, school often winds up being the place where your teen most needs to reach you, from touching base to calling for a ride. As a parent, it is also convenient to be able to access your teenager and find out where they are at any given time.
However, bringing a phone to school has its share of risks. From lost or damaged phones to theft, your teen needs to be responsible enough to keep their phone out of harm’s way. Teach your child to keep their cell phone in their locker, secured with a more expensive lock that cannot be broken into. Locks that do not require a key are the safest bet, which are more difficult to pick and eliminate the risk of a lost key. This will not only keep the phone safe, but will also ensure that your child is not using it during class time.
Hiding the phone is another good way to prevent theft. Put the phone in a small pouch, or some other bag that makes it less easily identified as being an expensive electronic device. Teach your teenager to never leave their phone attended at school and walk away, even for a second. This is just asking for someone to steal it.
Discourage your child from carrying a cell phone in their pocket. Many smartphones carried in pockets can stick out, making it an easy target for thieves.
The latest technology can be very competitive. Encourage your teen not to boast about their phone or its features around others. This is just asking for trouble.
If your teenager drives to school, and is in the habit of leaving their cell phone in the vehicle, make sure the car is locked with the windows all the way up. The phone should also be stowed away. Ideally, your teenager should lock their cell phone in the trunk. During the day, school parking lots tend to be deserted, and a prime location for theft.
If your teenager’s cell phone is lost or stolen, teach your child to immediately report the theft to authorities. Tracking software like TxtWatcher can help to identify suspicious texts that may not have been sent by your child, indicating that the phone is being used inappropriately. Keeping a record of your phone’s make and model, color and appearance, and any distinguishing marks can make it easier to get your phone back if it is lost or stolen.