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Mobile Safety Canadian Center for Child Protection
Know the Risks

Contact - What are the Risks?

Many risks that exist with mobile phone use stem from contact with individuals either known to the child/adolescent or not. Children/adolescents are keen to carve out their own friendships and relationships, but doing so by mobile phone poses its own risks.


It's natural for children/adolescents to experiment and test boundaries. Doing this online, however, can leave children/adolescents overexposed and feeling humiliated. Remind children that the Internet (including when connecting by mobile phone) isn't a safe environment to test boundaries - there can be long-lasting impacts.

Breaking Boundaries

All children/adolescents need a sense of belonging, and many enjoy establishing connections by texting with friends. Texting, however, removes the social limits normally placed on face to face interaction. Without these limits, personal boundaries can be crossed earlier, and very personal, sometimes sexual comments or questions can be raised. A child can be left feeling ashamed of the interaction later. Consider placing restrictions on when and how much your child/adolescent uses text messaging.

Meeting Someone Unknown

Relationships that start online seem to progress faster than they do offline. These relationships can quickly move to the child/adolescent wanting to meet up in person - they may not perceive any threat or need for safety precautions. This is further complicated by children/adolescents being connected and reachable 24 hours a day on their mobile phone. It's important to remind children/adolescents not to meet up with anyone they meet online without parental permission

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