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Mobile Phones

New mobile phones have Internet and text messaging capabilities and can take digital photos and videos. These phones are challenging the ability of adults to monitor online activities because unlike a computer placed in a public area of a home or school, cell phones are private, connected and always accessible.

SMS, or short message system is popular with kids because it's cheaper to send a text message than to make a phone call and they can send their message out to many people at the same time.  Kids use an SMS language, based on short forms and acronyms, that is also popular in chat rooms and with instant messaging.  

As with the Internet, parents and kids use cell phones differently. Most parents see cell phones as tools, while kids view them as an integral part of their social and entertainment lives. Unlike parents, who find cell phones intrusive at times and turn them on and off as necessary, kids have their phones turned on all the time so they can always be reached. Because kids tend to keep their phones on at all times, bullies can relentlessly harass victims at school, at home or even in their own rooms. If your child is bullied through a cell phone, report the problem to your phone service provider. If it's a persistent problem you can change the phone number.

Risks related to usage of mobile phones

- some children have been sexually harassed after contact through mobile phone, and bullying via the mobile phone is common.
-expensive mobile handsets are often stolen, and children may be mugged or physically attacked for their handsets. 
-most children with mobile phones have received some form of SMS spam.  

- photos and videos are often taken without permission and forwarded to friends or websites. 
-children normally use mobile phones when they are alone, so it is much more difficult for parents to monitor 
-children may receive advertising content via SMS, and some services for children allow them to pay for goods using their phone credit. 

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