Any kid with a cell phone probably uses it to send and receive text messages and images. It's similar to using email or instant messaging and most of the same etiquette and safety rules apply.
If your kids are texting, encourage them to respect others. Texting shorthand can lead to misunderstandings. Tell them to think about how a text message might be read and understood before sending it. Also, encourage your kids to:
- ignore texts from people they don't know
- learn how to block numbers from their cell phone
- avoid posting their cell phone number online
- never provide financial information in response to a text
Sending or forwarding sexually explicit photos, videos, or messages from a mobile phone is known as "sexting." Tell your kids not to do it. In addition to risking their reputation and their friendships, they could be breaking the law if they create, forward, or even save this kind of message. Teens may be less likely to make a bad choice if they know the consequences.