The Carphone Warehouse has released research from over 3,000 UK parents highlighting a growing concern about the kind of online content being accessed by children.
It says 85% of children with smartphones don’t have parental controls activated. 48% of parents who took part in the research didn't think it was possible for their child to download adult content on their mobile phone, 46% didn't think controls were necessary and 40% didn’t know parental controls existed.
Professor Tanya Byron, who has been advising the government on child internet safety and is now working with The Carphone Warehouse, said "Online risks to children are as prevalent when they access the internet via their mobile phone as when they access it via their PC or laptop. However, the two aren’t treated the same – partly because the latter is a much more recent phenomenon; the recent influx of smartphones to the market means these are no longer just for business, but accessible to a much wider proportion of the market… including children. We need to apply everything that we’ve learnt through our research so far and make sure the same understanding, precautions and restrictions are applied to children using mobile phones to guarantee their online safety."
All 800 Carphone Warehouse stores across the UK are now offering a free advice booklet that contains advice from Professor Byron. Her advice centres on three key aspects: talking to children about their online lives, acting to use all available tools and engaging in the online services used by children.