Research by a mobile phone insurance website in the UK has revealed that the majority of parents to children aged 10 or under with a mobile phone don’t keep an eye on their youngster’s activity on the handset; leaving them vulnerable to various dangers such as bullying and unsupervised internet usage.
With the age of mobile phone owners ever decreasing and it now being commonplace for children as young as 7 to own a handset, a mobile phone insurance website in the UK has conducted research to find out if parents of children with a mobile phone make it their business to keep an eye on their handset activity, in order to protect them from any dangers.
mobileinsurance.co.uk decided to carry out the study after noting an increase in the number of parents claiming on behalf of their child who owned a handset, for things such as theft, loss and breakages. 2,196 parents from the UK took part in the poll, each with a child aged 10 or under who currently had their own mobile phone.
According to the survey, the youngest child with a mobile phone was just 6 years old. When the parents taking part in the study were asked if they kept an eye on their child’s mobile phone activity, such as their text messages, calls and internet usage (if applicable), the majority, 58%, admitted that they didn’t.
When asked why they didn’t, 27% said they didn’t want to intrude on their child’s privacy, whilst the majority, 42%, said they never got round to checking what they were using the phone for. 13% said it was due to the fact they trusted their youngster with their handset.
If their child’s mobile phone had a password or locking system on it, the parents were asked if they knew the code or method to unlock it and access their youngster’s phone. 79% of those with a child who had a lock of some kind on their phone admitted that they wouldn’t know how to get into it.
The poll also aimed to find out how many children aged 10 or under had had their mobile phone become lost, stolen or broken in the past. According to the parents’ responses, 43% of the children had broken their handset before, whilst 36% had experienced a lost mobile phone and 14% had had a phone stolen in the past.
All the parents were asked if their child’s phone was currently insured, to which 67% said ‘no’. 3% of the parents taking part said they had an app which enabled them to track their children.
Jason Brockman, Director of mobileinsurance.co.uk, said the following:
“To see that children as young as 6 are in possession of a mobile phone was pretty shocking. To be honest, I really can’t see a need for this and it isn’t very reassuring to know that many parents aren’t checking up on their child’s handset activity.
“It’s not a case of invading their privacy, but it should be seen as a way of keeping them safe. Parents should make sure that, if their children have access to the internet on their phones, adult content and websites are restricted and it’s also important to make sure they aren’t talking to strangers or being bullied. It’s always important to insure a mobile phone, but particularly if it’s used by a child.”
Photo credit: apdk on Flickr