Internet safety on mobile phones

1Mobiles come with new things for parents to worry about – namely Internet safety, theft, bullying and who your kids are chatting to without supervision (never mind why their phone runs out of credit faster than you can top it up and always goes to voicemail when you really need to talk to them).
Now smartphones have upped the ante considerably. They’re essentially handheld computers, so worries about your child stumbling across pornographic or violent content, or being groomed in chatrooms, on their computer now apply equally to their phone. No matter how clued up you are about internet safety on your home computer, you need to get similarly clued up about your child’s phone if you want to keep them safe in the cyber-world.

Mobile phones: parents’ checklist
First, you need to decide whether you want your child to use Pay As You Go or whether you’d rather sign up for a contract so that you receive an itemised monthly bill. The latter may well be a better option for younger children.
And then make sure you know the answers to the following questions:
Does the phone have Internet access?
All UK mobile phone companies have to provide an Internet filter on their phones to help block potentially harmful stuff like pornography. But – and this is the important bit for parents – most operators don’t activate the filter unless you ask them to.
Is Bluetooth enabled?
Bluetooth enables your child’s mobile phone to find and talk to other Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones in the vicinity. If it’s activated, it means your child could receive unexpected and unwanted messages, and any personal information stored on your child’s phone – for example, their contact list – could be vulnerable. Switching off the Bluetooth option makes the phone ‘invisible’ to other Bluetooth users.
Is the phone registered for a child or adult user?
If the phone is registered to a child user, it will automatically not be able to access content rated 18+. But if your child has a phone that has been passed down to them from you or another adult, no such block will be in place. Brave the piped music and endless wait and talk to your mobile phone operator to find out if the Internet filter is activated.
Check whether parental controls are set as default on your child’s mobile – if not, ask for them to be switched on.
Can the phone access chat rooms, or games where users chat to one another?
Are these moderated? Chat rooms provided by your child’s mobile operator or its partners which do not have 18+ age-restrictions must be moderated. Find out about the operator’s moderation policies and systems. Be aware that chat rooms accessed on the internet via your child’s mobile (ie which are not provided by the mobile operator or its partners) may not be moderated.

IELTS test day advice

6Prepare for your test day; success starts with IELTS

You will find the IELTS test centre staff friendly, welcoming and highly professional. They will make sure that the test is delivered fairly and securely. Follow their instructions carefully.

The week before your test

Check the start time and location of your IELTS test the week before, and make sure you know how to get there on time.

Remember, the address of your IELTS test location may be different to that of the test centre where you booked your test.

Take the time to read full details of the ‘IELTS test terms and conditions’ for important information about your IELTS test day.

Your IELTS test day

You need to arrive in good time for your IELTS test. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the test.

Switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices. You will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each part of the test.

Make sure you are prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand. You will not be allowed to take food into the test room; you will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.

Your identity and photographs

The IELTS test location staff will check your identity when you arrive.

Make sure you have the right ID with you. If you arrive with the wrong ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.

You may also need two recent identical passport-sized photographs.

Test Day Photography

Some test locations will now also take a photograph of you on the test day – this photograph taken by the test centre will appear on your Test Report Form to provide increased identity security. Your test centre will let you know if it is going to do this. For more information see IELTS candidate identity verification.

Check the details that you were given when you booked the test to make sure you take the right ID and photographs with you.

During the IELTS test

You will only be allowed to have a pen or pencil, an eraser and your ID on your desk.

If you need to go to the bathroom during the test, put your hand up to attract the attention of the invigilator. Do not disturb other candidates.

If you have any questions during the test, raise your hand to ask for help.

When you take the Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Raise your hand straightaway and let the invigilator know if you cannot hear the recording.

Please remember that you will have 10 minutes after the Listening section to fill in your answer sheet. You will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so please make sure that you write your answers on your Reading answer sheet as you complete each section.

At the end of the test

Stay in your seat until the invigilator gives you permission to leave the room.

If you think that there have been any issues that may have affected your performance, tell the invigilator straightaway.

If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you need to do this within one week of the test date.

Your invigilator will have a Test Day Incident Form. Please fill this in if you want to raise an issue or make a complaint.

Special arrangements

If you have asked for special arrangements as a result of a disability or other condition, adjustments will be made for you on the test day.