One in ten children under the age of 10 owns an iPhone, according to a UK survey from cloud-based internet security company Westcoastcloud. In addition, one in twenty primary school children now own an iPad. The research also shows that one in ten parents feel it’s OK for a child as young as 4 to own a mobile phone.
Bill Strain, director of Westcoastcloud, said “It’s great that youngsters are interested and engaged with the latest technology, but children owning their own phones as young as four does seem unnecessary. Kids will always be able to gain access to their parents’ phones and laptops but when primary school age children gain access to the internet on these devices, parents need to be aware. There’s the potential that they could access unsuitable or potentially harmful content. If parents are happy for their children to be using these products they need to understand that the internet is not a private place. Filtering products are available that can help parents keep their children safe online.”
Overall, 17% of parents said they bought their child a phone after being pestered.
A quarter of parents said their child had an email account, while almost 10% of primary school-aged children had a social networking account even though Facebook and MySpace have a minimum age limit of 13. Half the parents questioned said they had no parental controls installed on the internet-connected devices used by their children.
The survey was commissioned to coincide with the release of Westcoastcloud’s iPad internet security product for schools. The Netintelligence app will be released for home use later this year.