By @parentshield editor Graham Tyers
Adult Mobile phone contracts, even if they’re advertised as a “capped mobile contract”, simply aren’t suitable for children to use – particularly younger children.
The most common trap is to believe that a PAYG or Pay As You Go SIM card will control spending! On the face of it it should. You upload £15 onto the SIM and you can only spend £15 right? Well yes. But what happens when your child uses that £15 in data or SMS in the first 24 hours? You now have a child with a mobile phone that can’t be used to call home or other vital numbers. It’s a scary thought and this means the phone will end up being topped up once again … and so it goes on. That dream of £15 per month, capped, soon evaporates.
Telecoms companies call these extra costs “Breakages”. MMS, Directory Enquiries, unintended roaming, premium rate numbers, SMS shortcodes, overseas numbers etc … they’re all ways of extracting extra spending – even from a “capped” contract. A children’s Network needs to be different to this.
Online bullying is a growing problem for UK youths, where 1 in 4 state they have experienced something upsetting on social media. Being bullied online can be more devastating as kids are no longer able to leave their problems, and bullies, in the playground. In some cases, your child might not even know who their ‘online’ bully is. A ‘normal’ Cheap Mobile Contract comes with little to no ability to block calls or numbers. You may be able to block all anonymous call from the handset but is that what you want? Sometimes Caller-ID information is ‘lost’ in the network and doing this means that a potentially important call from home or work or school may be blocked.
Without ‘being there’ on every call we all know that Grooming or ‘catfishing’ (pretending to be someone else online) is a big issue in the UK. What may be an obvious impersonator to an adult may not be to a child. Child Protection experts are increasingly recommending proper adult supervision where this is possible. A cheap SIM card doesn’t provide for this. A normal mobile phone is 11 digits away from anyone in the UK and only a few more from everyone in the world.
A brand new parent-child friendly mobile network has recently launched called ParentShield. It is designed to allow children to have the independence of a normal mobile phone but with the strongest parental protection.
The network provides a powerful SIM which can be used in any unlocked mobile phone. It works exactly like any normal sim card, and has great coverage all over the UK through use of network roaming. Every feature of the network is designed to be child-safe from the spending controls, through to the call controls, alerts and monitoring capability.
Best of all your child can have the right phone for their age and the one they will be proud to show to their friends! There are special parental control phones available but what child wants to show their friends that?
You should aim to be honest with your child about the risks of owning a mobile phone as well as the abilities of an engine mobile SIM – this encourages your child to be honest with you if they do face any problems.
You’re in control with ParentShield from Engine Mobile – so you know they’re safe. Click here or on the link below to find the best safe SIM plan for your children.