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Ask Engadget: best smartphone for a teenager?


We know you've got questions, and if you're brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here's the outlet to do so. This week's Ask Engadget inquiry is from Gingernut2K, who wants to talk about responsible parenting and not being too much of a snooper. If you're looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

"I've always felt that talking to your kids and trusting them to be responsible is much better than trying to seal them in cotton wool. The problem? My daughter's turning 14 and as she's allowed to go out (under curfew) we think it's time that she gets a phone, and she's been saving up for a smartphone. Now, I trust her, but it's not difficult to find adult material online, or even just be vulnerable to malicious messages from unscrupulous types. My question: is there a smartphone that's both secure enough that I don't have to worry, but also that I can access even if she passwords it? Man, writing that last sentence made me feel dirty."

A tricky question, but one that's well worth answering. We're sure that plenty of you out there are parents who have struggled with a similar dilemma, so we'd love to hear what your solution was. Did you go for a carrier-based filtering plan like Verizon's Family Safeguards or a software-based approach like phonesheriff? How do you talk about the internet to your kids and how can we encourage sensible internet use? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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