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It’s probably not that much of a surprise, but tech and cell phones are still the most popular gifts for teens.

Last year alone, smartphone vendors sold 1.38 billion smartphones worldwide and the number sold for 2021 is expected to surpass that. And with that comes a lot of responsibility with banking and money through P2P and banking apps.

Experts agree that equipping teens and youth with boundaries, tools, and knowledge to navigate this cyberscape is crucial to ensuring a safe and valuable tech centric experience. 

Part of effective smart phone use is learning how to utilize the device as a tool, and having adults model proper tech etiquette.

Ray Martinez Co-Founder and President of EVERFI is a fin tech/fin lit expert who says that when gifting tech this year, parents should also give knowledge as well. Tech is not only for entertainment, it can also be a valuable educational tool.

In partnership with Zelle, Everfi encourages parents to equip youth with smart tech practices when gifting devices this season. 

When gifting smartphones and tablets Ray says to consider the following:

  • Pre load device with useful apps like peer to peer payment now available to teens tools to help youth contend with a near cashless society
  • Pre load educational apps to encourage the idea that devices are tools to enhance our understanding of the world, not to control our navigation of it
  • Download a password protection app to secure all data and house strong passwords
  • Give youth a tutorial on how to prevent identity theft by not giving out personal information
  • Have parents and children agree on rules and boundaries for device use