High Street mobile phone retailer Phones 4u has launched a campaign to help parents ensure their children stay safe online when accessing the Internet from their mobile phones.
The retailer has launched an information hub on its website to educate parents about the dangers of mobile Internet and the safety options that are available. It also trained store staff to provide advice.
Research conducted by Phones 4u revealed that parents’ awareness of security tools is low, with 71 per cent of parents admitting that they have not used an Internet safety tool and almost a third revealing they are not even aware of such tools.
Instead, the poll of 1,500 parents found that most trust their children to police themselves online, with 85 per cent considering their children to be very aware of the potential risks of using the Internet on their mobile phones.
“We’re looking to address the low awareness amongst parents about the range of security tools available on phones that are being used by children, to ensure they have the information they need to help their children stay safe online,” said Scott Hooton, chief commercial officer at Phones 4u.
He added that in trials conducted in-store, nearly all parents were happy to receive information on security tools during the sales process with more than half going on to use the tools.
“That tells us there is a real appetite for this information, and as an independent retailer we can provide impartial advice on the different security tools available for all the family,” he said.
Susanna Scott, founder of Internet forum BritMums, welcomes the move. “I am very concerned about the safety of mobile internet. I trust my children to be sensible, but you have a responsibility as a parent to make sure you’re informed and teaching them about the risks associated with the internet. This new site from Phone 4u is a much needed and very welcome source of information on the internet security options available across all mobile phone providers,” she said.
Will Gardner, CEO of Internet safety organisation Childnet, agrees. “With mobile phones increasingly becoming an integral part of children’s lives, it is vital parents and carers are aware of the tools available to them so that their children use their phones safely. The UK mobile operators have provided tools to help parents filter out age-inappropriate content, and we hope that this new guidance from Phones 4u can help highlight these tools to their customers,” he said.
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