Cell Phone Safety Children and Teens

The National Children's Advocacy Center provides safety tips related to children's use of cellular phones. 

Technology: It can help, but it can also hurt.

Cell phones, how did we ever get along without them? We can be in touch with family and friends in just a few seconds and then update our Facebook a minute later. Cell phone technology is changing at an ever increasing rate. We can talk, play music, take pictures, records video, check our social networking page, and send text messages. The fun and benefits of cell phones are many. So are the dangers. 

What should I be thinking about when I use my cell phone? 

Mobile Safety: Just as in chat rooms and social sites, think about who you text and talk with; only talk with people you know in real life. Never talk about sex with strangers OR with people you know via texts or in chat rooms!

Bullying: Don't respond to mean or threatening texts or phone messages. If you feel scared by something, talk with a trusted adult. DO NOT BULLY OTHERS!

Mobile Social Networking and Mapping:  Be just as cautious when updating your social networking page via cell phone as when you are sitting at your laptop. Only use services that allow you to pinpoint your exact location with people you know in real life!

Pictures and Videos: Never let other people photograph or film you in embarrassing or inappropriate situations (and don't photograph or take videos of others in the same situations). We all deserve to have some privacy and protect our reputations!

Things to think about before pressing "Send"

Think about the consequences of taking, sending, or forwarding a sexual picture of someone underage (age 17 and below) even if it’s you. You could get kicked off of sports teams, face humiliation, and lose education opportunities. You could face child pornography charges, go to jail, and have to register as a sex offender.

Never take images of yourself that you wouldn’t want everyone—your classmates, your teachers, your family, or your employers—to see.

Before hitting send, remember that you can’t control where this image may travel. What you send to a boyfriend or a girlfriend could easily end up with their friends, and their friends, and their friends…

If you forward a sexual picture of someone underage, you are responsible for this image as the original sender. Again, you could face child pornography charges, go to jail, and have to register as a sex offender.

Report any nude pictures you receive on your cell phone to an adult you trust. Do not delete the message. Instead, get your parents or guardians, teachers or school counselors involved immediately.

Source: National Child Advocacy Center, ConnectSafely.org, NetSmartz.org