How to predator proof a child's phone

Channel 4's crime expert tells how to keep kids safe while using technology


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Smart phones may not be such a smart choice for children, according to Channel 4 crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson.

Earlier this week, Channel 4 told viewers about apps that collect kids' personal information. There's now some information to help parents fight back and predator proof their kids' gadgets.

Jefferson said the first line of defense is to outsmart the predators by taking control of what information can be shared on children's smart phones.

He also suggests to create an Internet contract with kids so both the parent and child are on the same page and the consequences are clear.

First things first, install surveillance software on a child's phone or computer.

A parent can go to When downloading this application software, it blocks sites in more than 70 categories, including malware/spyware, pornography, gambling, drugs and violence.

Next, set up a content filter. Android, Apple and Windows have settings where the password can be protected and can control what is accessible on a phone.

Also, a parent needs to try the apps on their child's phone. Parents should make sure they're up to speed on what their children are downloading, and it's also a good idea to get their child's Apple ID information for themselves.

The final suggestion for peace of mind is to track kids with GPS.

Jefferson said parents shouldn't hesitate to use their child's phone as a tracking device so they know where they are all the time.

"I think it's a great idea to put a GPS on their smart phone so you know where they are," Jefferson said.

So should parents tell their child they are tracking their whereabouts? Jefferson says no.

"I would not tell them," Jefferson said. "Because they'll figure out a way to get it off their phone, get out of what you don't want them to do."

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