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Mobile Safety Canadian Center for Child Protection
Safety Strategies

13-15 years

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At this age, many adolescents have their own mobile phone. 13-15 year-old adolescents are typically quite familiar with mobile phone technology; it is important to reinforce basic principles and guidelines regarding mobile phone use.

Messaging to adolescents should be developmentally-appropriate, and should parallel messages promoting safety and the Internet:

What 13-15 year-old adolescents enjoy doing with mobile phones

  • Calling friends
  • Text messaging (which could include multimedia like audio or video)
  • Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Using the phone's web browser to surf the Internet, check email, visit social networking sites, etc.
  • Using the phone's web browser to download ringtones, games, wallpaper, etc.
  • Taking pictures/videos of themselves/friends
  • Playing games

Key strategies to help adolescents stay safe

  • Monitor your adolescent's mobile phone use
  • Make sure your adolescent always keeps his/her personal information to him/herself
  • Make sure that your adolescent never includes his/her name or phone number on his/her voicemail message
  • Tell your adolescent that s/he must have your permission to share his/her mobile phone number
  • Ensure your adolescent gets permission if meeting with someone for the first time, and to bring a parent or trusted friend along
  • Remind your adolescent that replying to a voice/text message will disclose his/her mobile phone number to strangers via caller ID
  • Discourage your adolescent from answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers
  • Limit the amount of time your adolescent spends on his/her mobile phone
  • Make sure your adolescent never leaves his/her mobile phone unattended
  • Learn how to block calls/messages from unwanted users on your adolescent's mobile phone
  • Limit your adolescent's downloading of ringtones, games, etc. to reputable sites
  • Make sure any games or ringtones your adolescent downloads are legal and age-appropriate
  • Remind your adolescent to be aware of his/her surroundings
  • Ensure your adolescent always uses a nickname in chatrooms, IM, etc. that doesn't reflect his/her age, location, or interests
  • Reinforce that your adolescent should never respond to any unwanted messages
  • Teach your adolescent to trust his/her instincts - that if s/he feels a situation is potentially unsafe, it probably is
  • Teach your child about the public nature of text messaging. What s/he texts to someone can be shared with anyone. To avoid potentially uncomfortable situations, stress the importance of being very careful about what s/he includes in a text message

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