The holiday season is almost upon us and, like many parents, grandparents and other relatives, you might be planning to buy tech gifts for your teens, such as phones, ‘smart toys’, or wireless headphones. Or maybe you and your family are just planning to do your gift shopping online for convenience. Here are some steps you can take to make this go smoothly.
Before buying a gift which connects to the internet, check out this gift guide by the eSafety Commissioner. It covers the benefits and risks of tablets, smart watches, drones, 3-D printers, VR systems, gaming headsets, and more!
And if you’re thinking of buying someone a phone, see these tips from Raising Children Network.
When deciding if your teens are ready for a certain type of tech, don’t just check the age range on the box (although this is important), but also ask yourself:
For more tips, check out the eSafety resource ‘Are they old enough?’
Once you’ve bought tech gifts, it’s important to:
If possible, learn to use the tech yourself, either alongside your teens or with them teaching you! Talk with your teens about how the tech works, why they enjoy it, and any problems they might have.
Sit down with your teens and set some clear, agreed rules on how tech devices will be used in your home. It’s important to give your teens a proper say in setting these rules – that way, they’re more likely to keep to them!
Your family tech agreement might cover things like:
Keep your agreement fairly short, put it on display somewhere, and go back to it as a family to decide if it needs updating.
Check out further tips on setting tech boundaries with teens.
Unfortunately, the holiday season is a busy time for scammers. According to Scamwatch, thefts via online shopping scams have increased by 42 per cent this year, with over 12,000 reports of Australians being scammed while shopping online.
Young people can be especially vulnerable to scams involving the purchase of tech products.
Common scams involve fake online stores, fake ads on classified sites like Gumtree and Facebook Messenger, and fake parcel delivery notifications via text or email, which ask for your personal details or credit card information.
And if you think you’ve been scammed, you can report it and get help here.