Concern over parental controls on kids’ mobiles

Darren Allan

October 22, 2010

Internet safety guru Tanya Byron has been busy compiling a guide to help keep children safe on the net, in conjunction with Carphone Warehouse.

And a survey undertaken as part of this project has revealed a lack of know-how on the part of parents whose children own smartphones capable of web surfing.

The study conducted by YouGov questioned some 3,000 parents, the Telegraph reports, and the alarming news delivered was that 85% of those adults had failed to implement basic measures to prevent their child from viewing inappropriate content on their mobile.

One basic provision being a simple call to the network operator to get a security lock on the child’s phone.

Almost half those surveyed thought it was impossible for their children to be downloading adult material on their smartphones for some reason. Only 21% were confident that they knew what their offspring was up to in their mobile surfing.

Professor Byron told the Telegraph: “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.”






 

Comments in chronological order (2 comments)

  1. TezChi says:

    While I personally hate all this Tanya Byron rubbish (it reeks of lowest common demominator nannying), I find it strange that ‘over half’ the parents questioned thought was impossible to download adult content on the devices.

    I suppose, as usual with these things, it is an important (yet impossible) aspect to know who exactly answered the survey. I have never completed such a thing and many people will not – only certain people ever seem to answer such surveys.

    You would think if the phone was marketted as capable of web surfing, even the most gormless parent would know what that means. Then again, some parents (especially the more ‘ban this sick filth’ happy ones) seem to be complete incompetents. I remember reading some laugh-out-loud propaganda once where parents where supposingly incapable of understanding what the age ratings on games meant. If this was true (which, lets be honest, it isn’t), then I really do despair.

    Anyway, doing away with all the fluff, I would have thought that Online (and mobile) safety for children was a basic staple of bringing them up. I don’t want to hear the bleeding heart claptrap of “the kids know more then the parents” or “the generational divide” – it’s rubbish. If you have children, you must bring them up. I fail to see why we need a slightly odious TV “psychiatrist” (inverted commas completely intentional) to tell us why.

  2. nospamas says:

    Why would any parent give a child young enough to find adult material offensive a smart phone in the first place?

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