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Mobile Safety Canadian Center for Child Protection
Know the Risks

Other Risks

  • Legal issues Numerous legal issues regarding plagiarism, copyright and intellectual property have emerged. As laws continue to evolve to deal with new technology, there remains the risk that a child/adolescent using a mobile phone could infringe on another person's or group's legal rights.
  • Downloads Ringtones, games and wallpapers are all typically available for download to mobile phones, and continue to be popular with children/adolescents. Of particular relevance to mobile phone/Internet use is the downloading of copyrighted content. Downloads from disreputable sources may violate copyright laws, and have the potential to harbor malicious content (spam, viruses, etc.).
  • Phone bills The downloading of ringtones, games, logos, etc., is often charged directly to the mobile phone bill via the service provider, therefore requiring no credit card numbers. Some plans also bill the user per text message received and/or sent. Parents who are unaware of these options and features could be very surprised when they receive their monthly bill!
  • Scams An increasing number of children/adolescents run the risk of falling victim to fraudulent advertising campaigns via mobile browsing and text messaging. 'Spam' via text messaging is a growing problem, as advertisers learn to target mobile phone users. Mobile phone providers (such as TELUS) have been working to prevent large-scale 'spam' attacks, and to advise clients to be extremely careful when consenting to receive information from third-party sites.
  • Spam/advertising Children aren't always able to identify 'spam' or advertising, and are therefore more susceptible to blatant marketing campaigns via text messaging. Parents should teach their child/adolescent to think carefully before subscribing to (or consenting to receive information from) any third-party.
  • School trouble Schools generally have policies to address cases where children are caught cheating or plagiarizing, and many divisions have re-drafted rules to include cheating and plagiarizing via mobile phone. Discipline could include a failing grade, suspension, or expulsion.

What can parents do to reduce the risks associated with their child/adolescent's mobile phone? Click here to find out.

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