One in five parents do not have parental controls set up on their child's smartphone, reveals survey

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12th August 2020 18:56 - Information Technology

One in five parents do not have parental controls set up on their child's smartphone: A survey of parents has found that a fifth (22%) do not have any parental controls set up on their child's smartphone  - however, many are concerned about the safety of their child when using the internet. 

The survey by specialist insurer, Ecclesiastical, polled more than 1,000 smartphone-owning parents of children aged 10-16. Of those surveyed, 844 said their child has their own smartphone. 

The research found that the greatest fear of parents when it comes to their children using their smartphone is the risk of them being exposed to adult content, followed by communicating with strangers and sharing personal data. Other concerns included them sharing inappropriate images and sharing family data. 

When it comes to how knowledgeable parents are around issues such as age restrictions for using social media accounts, the survey found that many are in the dark. Half the parents polled did not know that there is an minimum age limit for using Snapchat (50%), WhatsApp (50%) and  Twitter (49%), and while more parents knew that Facebook has a minimum age limit - 29% were not sure. 

Just 42% of the parents polled said they monitor what their child is looking at on their smartphone, while slightly fewer (41%) said they control/restrict in-app purchases. Fewer than half know their child's password in order to access their device (49%). 

Almost two-fifths of parents polled (38%) said they have changed the settings on the child’s device to block adult content, with the same percentage limiting how much time their child is permitted to spend on their phone each day (38%). 

When it comes to checking their child’s messages, more than a third (37%) admit to doing so, while just one in three admitted to checking their child’s location via their smartphone (30%). 

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