Mobile Phones
Internet access is readily available on most phones now, and this is allowing children and young people access to chat rooms and social networking sites whenever and wherever they like. But for parents, there is no real way of checking what your children are using their phone for. A couple of things to think about or look for with regards to this is if your child has a phone on a contract- you will be able to check the statement each month as to how many times they have accessed the internet, and what for. If your child has a pay as you go phone, and you want information as to what they have been doing, you will have to contact the service provider direct. Another thing to check is whether the filtering settings have been activated on the mobile phones. This would be activated to manage the internet access. Bluetooth technology has also grown in popularity, and most phones on sale today have this facility. This allows music files and pictures to be shared, at no cost. Phones are given names, and this allows people to know they are connecting to. Bluetooth should not be activated when it’s not being used, as this could allow strangers to connect to phones, and something that has been happening recently is people are hacking into phones and obtaining access to photo’s, contacts and also sent and received messages. This is a risk not just for children and young people, but adults also.
 
There has recently been a case where a child was downloading tones, they kept sending them even though they weren’t ordered, the child didn’t say anything as didn’t want to get in trouble, and the bill at the end of the month was about £600. This is definitely something to be aware of, especially if you are the bill payer!
 
Wireless internet access
With the invention of wireless broadband connections, comes a whole new set of issues. Again, access to the internet is available wherever the wireless is. There are security settings that should always be set when using wireless broadband, as other people may be able to access the internet via someone else’s connection. The internet can also be accessed by technologies such as PDA’s, the new Apple I Phone and MP3 players, and I’m sure, with the rate at which technology is moving, it won’t be long until more applications provide internet access.