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Seven in ten parents feel their children need more protection when going online, research has revealed. While six in ten parents say mobile phones are a crucial part of communicating as a family, the same number worry about the content their child is exposed to via their smartphone.
Pornography and violent material are the leading concerns in terms of what children will be exposed to.
The study unearthed an overall concern for children being exposed to material that scares or confuses them, while there was an overriding worry that kids would simply ‘grow up too fast’ if not protected properly in their online use.
The research, commissioned by TalkTalk Mobile to launch MobileSafe – a safe browsing service for children’s mobile phones, found the average British parent gave their child a mobile phone at aged nine.
Indeed, nearly half of the 2,000 parents studied insist on their child having a mobile phone now but wish they could monitor internet access more effectively.
58% think it’s essential that a child owns a mobile phone – mostly for their own peace of mind in knowing their child is always contactable.
In fact, 48% of made the decision to give their child a phone before their child asked for one.
TalkTalk‘s Tristia Harrison said:
”The study shows that the mobile phone is now a crucial part of family communication and parents want to be able to contact their child at any time.
”It’s obviously become an essential family tool and, as with anything, parents want to feel they have the ability to monitor and have some input in the way in which their child uses their phone and what they can and can’t access.
”It’s clear they are calling for greater security and the ability to filter, input parental controls and monitor their child’s browsing history to ensure all the benefits of the phone are enjoyed without exposure to inappropriate material.
”Our new free product MobileSafe seeks to address the concerns underlined in this research. We place great importance on providing our customers with the best security solutions for devices both inside and outside the home.”
Over two thirds remain glad at their decision to give their child a mobile phone, while a third of mum and dads say they simply enjoy the regular contact with their children.
But one in six parents has had to temporarily confiscate their child’s phone for fear of what they might be accessing.
Violent material and adult content were the most commonly found images – with 47% of parents having found something inappropriate on their child’s phone.
Nearly two thirds of parents agreed that protections in place for children’s internet access on the computer were much more effective than those in place to protect them on mobile devices.