Families in Australia have changed dramatically over the past few decades. The way we perceive the ‘nuclear family’ is shifting, and no two families’ needs look the same. As you would expect, the evolution of technology is creating a new challenge for parents, as their kids adopt smart devices and interact with online platforms. And the trends are still changing rapidly.

According to Roy Morgan Research, in 2017, 91% of Aussie teens aged 14 to 17 own mobile phones – and, of these, 94% have a smartphone (a far cry from the days of the humble brick phone!) This age group is “twice as likely as other mobile owners to use their device for playing music, videos, and games”, so they are also among the heaviest data users. That’s why bundling your plans is a great option to keep an eye on their data usage and worry less about bill shock.

It’s important to engage your kids at an early age about how to use the internet safely as they enter these high-risk years. We get that the way kids use their phones is constantly changing, so here are five tips to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Keep up to date with the new trends online

The social networks and online games that your children interact with are likely to be very different from the ones you use. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep an open conversation going about the games their friends are playing and how they’re using online platforms. By doing this, you can learn more about their habits and work out how to help them be safe.

2. Keep an eye on screen time

Just because your child is spending a lot of time on screens doesn’t necessarily mean there’s cause for concern. Schoolwork is often done on laptops or tablets, and screens are so prolific that it’s only natural that screen time has increased over the past decade for kids. The important thing is to make sure you know what they’re spending their time on and engage with your children about their online habits and interests from a young age.

3. Teach your kids about cyber security

There are some simple rules that everyone should abide to when it comes to security online, and kids are no exception. Let them know that they should never share personal information such as their address, phone number, date of birth, or password online.

4. Be social media savvy

It’s common practice for employers to search for the social media profile of potential employees before offering them a job. What you put online can come back to haunt you, but kids aren’t always equipped with this level of foresight. Inform them of the risks, and show them how to change the privacy settings on their accounts so that their following is restricted to friends and family.

5. Bundle your phone plans with your family

Bundling your phone plans allows you to keep family members that love to use data in check, so that you can worry less about bill shock. You’ll also enjoy the convenience of receiving a single bill for the whole family when you bundle your plans, and you can save money by taking advantage of bundling deals.

At Vodafone, our plans work better together to suit your families’ needs.

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