By Paul Grossinger
In the wake of concerns over children’s abuse of smartphones, many parents are opting for an out of the box solution: giving their kids retro feature-phones that don’t have apps, internet access, and other features that routinely worry parents.
Unfortunately, buying your child a feature phone does not end risk from cell phone abuse. Text message abuse and phone cyberbullying remain rampant on feature phones. Worse, feature phones lack sophisticated protection options, such as parental management apps, to help contain these risks.
The best option remains to buy a smartphone and to protect it. iPhones are a problematic choice; they give kids access to the internet, apps, and all the tools smartphones offer but Apple’s iOS operating system does not allow parents to use sophisticated third party protection systems. Android, which is open source, gives parents stronger protection: including options for advanced text and drive prevention, bully blocking, app management, and location tools.