Ten per cent of UK primary school children have iPhones
One in ten parents feel it's appropriate for children as young as four years old to own a mobile phone, while one in ten children under the age of ten already owns an iPhone, according to a survey by Westcoastcloud.
by Rune H. Rasmussen
In a recent study, cloud security firm Westcoastcloud polled 2,000 parents of children aged ten and under. The report revealed some interesting and worryingly facts on the extent to which today's youngsters rely on technology.
According to the study:
- One in twenty primary school children now own an iPad.
- 17 per cent of parents bought their child a phone after they succumbed to their child's pestering.
- Typically, parents felt comfortable buying their child a mobile phone or a Smartphone at the age of ten, with 68 per cent doing so because they wanted to keep tabs on their children.
- One in ten primary school children had a social networking account, despite of the fact that popular networks such as Facebook and MySpace have a 13-year age limit.
- A third of children who used their parents' mobile phones did so for Internet related activities such as You Tube, emailing, Facebook or Twitter.
- 15 per cent of parents said their child uses their Smartphone regularly and one in ten children are perfectly capable of using a tablet that belongs to their parents.
Parents need to be aware
Bill Strain, director of Westcoastcloud, said:
"It's great that youngsters are interested and engaged with the latest technology, but children owning their own phones as young as four does seem unnecessary. Kids will always be able to gain access to their parents' phones and laptops but when primary school age children gain access to the Internet on these devices, parents need to be aware. There's the potential that they could access unsuitable or potentially harmful content."
Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet International the children's Internet charity commented:
"With children of a younger and younger age accessing technology, even owning technology, it is all the more important that we are equipping them to navigate these technologies safely."
No parental controls
Worryingly, half of the parents polled said they have no parental controls installed on their Internet connected devices – despite five per cent of parents admit their child uses their phone or laptop when they are not present. Twelve per cent of parents claim their child doesn't really know what they are doing online, and regularly they leave them to 'play' on their own.
Bill Strain of Westcoastcloud said:
"If parents are happy for their children to be using these products they need to understand that the Internet is not a private place. Filtering products are available that can help parents keep their children safe online."
Will Gardner, of Childnet International, stated:
"In our work in schools we are often getting asked by parents about the technology their children are using. It is important to help ensure parents are aware of the full functionality of the technology that young children are accessing and that they are able to use the tools and give the support that young people need to stay safe and get the most out of these devices".
Westcoastcloud is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc which is ranked as one of the top 25 cloud services providers in the world by Talkin' Cloud 50 and was named Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year 2011.
Westcoastcloud, the supplier of cloud-based Internet security services, commissioned the survey to coincide with the release of its iPad internet security product for schools Netintelligence as an App on iTunes.
Related articles on kidsandmedia.co.uk: