Parents unaware of dangers faced by children on smartphones

Many parents are out of touch with the dangers faced by their children on tablets and smartphones, according to a poll by BBC Learning

Almost one in five children said they had seen something on their devices that had upset them, twice the number parents had thought.

A separate study found that just over 20% of parents do not monitor what their children are doing online.

The research was commissioned as part of Safer Internet Day.

While 90% of the parents surveyed by the BBC in England said they had spoken to their children about staying safe online when using a tablet or a smartphone, most said they allowed their children to use them unsupervised.

“Unfortunately, none of us – of whatever age – is immune from encountering problems online,” said Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online.

“Without using controls such as built-in security, safety and privacy features and search engine filters, children will almost certainly run into something that really isn’t appropriate for their age, or any age.”

The survey also found that teenagers aged 13-16 were more vulnerable to being bullied online than those aged 8-12. However, parents worried less about the older group using a tablet…

Apple’s iPhone and iPad have restrictions, or parental controls, that can be set using a passcode.

Access to certain apps or websites can be blocked completely or restricted to age appropriate content.

Restricted profile accounts can also be set up on Android smartphones and tablets.

Over 50% of parents who took part in the BBC poll said they had set up parental controls and filters on their tablets but only 40% said they had done the same on their children’s smartphones…

Adults were also being warned to stay safe online as Microsoft released its annual online consumer safety research.

It showed that 5% of consumers in the UK had fallen victim to a phishing attack – losing on average £100. Meanwhile, 3% said they had suffered identity theft which had ended up costing them £100.

The software giant recommended that users set PINs for their mobile phones and strong passwords for online accounts.

More at: Parents unaware of dangers faced by children on smartphones

If parents are failing to take these measures to help keep their children safe online and avoid inappropriate material on their smartphones, how can the situation be changed? Is there a role for schools to help educate parents or is that beyond their remit? Please give us your thoughts and examples of any initiatives your/your child’s school has run in this areas in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Parenting and Technology.


  1. jacquiburkefp

    rrunsworth SchoolsImprove Our school has booked E-Safety Briefing for parents, governors & teachers for next term.

  2. keiranmbellis

    rrunsworth SchoolsImprove so much apathy until something goes wrong. School have offered/put sessions on for years but poorly attended.

  3. Trisha_the_doc

    .SchoolsImprove Smartphones allow us to talk to each other as a family around the world and to share lots of our activities.

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