Back-to-School Smartphone Migration Begins; Parents & Teachers Fret Confiscations

Avira Offers Free AppLock+ App To Help

TETTNANG, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AndroidThe biggest annual technology migration of the year is happening now
as millions of students and their new smartphones head off to school.
Many parents and educators are concerned about the potential these
devices have to distract students and disrupt the learning process – and
have them looking for ways to minimize the disruption without having to
physically confiscate the devices.

For the 2016 school year, there are 35.4 million students enrolled in
pre-K through 8th grade, according to the National
Center for Education Statistics
. And according
to data collected by CTIA Wireless
, 56 percent of children ages 8 to
12 have a cell phone. Other research
studies find
the average age that kids get their first cell phone is
6.

While most parents who provide a mobile phone to their young children do
so for security reasons, it is very easy for those phones and their
gaming and social media and messaging apps to become distractions that
disrupt the learning process. Yet a Sprint
survey
finds that only 32% of parents have mobile device controls in
place, and only 17% have different rules for the school week than the
weekend.

Put that Smartphone on a Smart Leash

Moderating smartphone use is not about just restricting Internet access;
it’s about making sure different phone functions are used appropriately
at the right place and time. One app that can help parents is Avira’s
free AppLock+,
which puts users in control of each app independently on their Android
smartphone – even when the device is out of arms reach.

AppLock+
lets parents limit gaming and social apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and
Skype by their choice of PIN password and time of day. Or parents can
use the Schedule Lock feature to automatically lock apps at a given
time, for instance, on school days between 8 AM and 1 PM, during
homework or dinner time at home. This option can keep kids off Facebook
Messenger while in class or doing their homework.

Parents can also block access to selected apps with the Geo Lock
restrictions at a given location, e.g. at school or the playground. By
entering the address on the map and determining a radius of 1 – 10 miles
around it they can establish a “smartphone safe zone.” Within it,
selected apps will be locked.

AppLock+ can be downloaded for free in the Google
Play store
with premium features available for purchase as well.

Smartphone Parenting

The following tips and tricks help parents to lay the groundwork for
responsible smartphone use. They work best when used openly and honestly
in partnership with the children – not as a stealth spying method.

  • Agree to rules before your children will get the first smartphone
  • Choose the right smartphone, and service plan which allows you to stay
    in control of cost, e.g. with a prepaid mobile phone
  • Set a password for your children’s smartphone and save important phone
    numbers, e.g. for emergencies
  • Set a time budget for when your children are allowed to use the
    smartphone, what websites they can visit, and what apps they can
    download
  • Talk and listen to your children about their smartphone use
  • Remind your children that anything they send from their smartphones
    can be easily forwarded and shared
  • Teach your children never to reveal smartphone numbers or passwords
    online
  • Review smartphone records for any unknown numbers and late night phone
    calls and texts
  • Teach your children not to trust tempting messages of any sort, such
    as free stuff and discounts but to delete those messages and not to
    click any links
  • Have a Lost-and-Found plan: get an app that allows to locate the
    physical location of the smartphone
  • Don’t text your kids during the school day. Unless it’s a real
    emergency – like, you’re going to the hospital

Last but not least a “think in the box strategy” could help as well:
Having a box with chargers for phones in the living room, so that the
phones are not in the bedrooms at night, might be a good idea for the
entire family – not just the kids.

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to
manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella
covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows,
Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective
technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions
consistently lead in independent tests for detection, performance, and
usability. Avira is a family-owned company with headquarters near Lake
Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and additional offices in Munich,
Bucharest, Beijing, and Silicon Valley. A portion of Avira’s sales
support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and
families in need. For more information, please visit www.avira.com.

Contacts

Media Contact – USA:
Rocket Science PR
Rich Mullikin,
APR, +1-415-464-8110 x216
Mobile: +1-925-354-7444
rich@rocketscience.com