Carphone Warehouse has published new research into the mobile web behaviour of 8 to 15 year olds in the UK. The survey, which was compiled by YouGov, revealed that 2.8 million of these children - including almost a quarter of 8 to 12 year olds - had a smartphone.
More than one in five (21%) children admitted they’d either accidentally or deliberately accessed unsuitable websites on their mobile phones; a total of 1.2 million children, according to the report.
6% of 15 year olds admitted to bullying by mobile phone, while 12% said they’d been the victim of cyber-bullying by calls or messages.
Only 13% had parental restrictions on their mobiles - in contrast to home computers, where 44% had parental restrictions and 84% had anti-virus software. In fact, 46% of parents were unaware of controls to protect children’s mobiles.
Professor Tanya Bryon, who’s been working with the Carphone Warehouse to educate parents about mobile security measures, said “The online world is incredibly fascinating and exciting to explore, with huge opportunities for learning, communicating, playing and being creative. However just as in the real world, alongside the opportunities, there are potential risks for young people. With a digital divide existing between generations, and with only 13% of children having the correct parental restrictions installed on their phone, it’s important we enable parents to support, educate and, as necessary, protect their children. This can be done by ensuring their mobile phone use is responsible, safe and as secure as possible. It is also important parents develop an honest communication with their children so that they can support them to be responsible digital citizens and help them with any worries or concerns that should arise.”
A free advice booklet produced by the Carphone Warehouse and Professor Tanya Byron will be available from all 800 Carphone Warehouse stores from 8th February 2012.