Carphone offers web safety advice

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Carphone to offer mobile internet safety advice through retail stores after research reveals parental concerns

Carphone Warehouse is launching a mobile internet safety campaign through its 800-plus stores after a YouGov poll revealed parents to be increasingly worried about children accessing adult content through their mobile phones.

The research polled 3,000 parents and discovered 85 per cent of children do not have parental controls activated on their handsets, while almost half of parents thought children could not download adult content on to their phones.

A similar percentage of parents haven’t activated controls because they didn’t think they were necessary, while 40 per cent of parents haven’t activated controls because they didn’t know they existed.

However, more than two thirds of parents said children accessing adult content on their mobile phone is a growing problem, with 81 per cent wanting more advice and guidance.

Professor Tanya Byron, a government advisor on child safety issues related to the internet and video games since 2007, and author of the 2008 Byron Review, said: “Online risks to children are as prevalent when they access the internet via their mobile phone as when they access it via their PC or laptop.

“However, the two aren’t treated the same, partly because the latter is a much more recent phenomenon; the recent influx of smartphones to the market means these are no longer just for business, but accessible to a much wider proportion of the market including children.”

Byron has worked with Carphone Warehouse to offer a free mobile web safety advice booklet to parents through its retail footprint.

This outlines three steps – talk, act and engage – to help parents get to grips with safety issues pertaining to mobile internet access.

Carphone Warehouse chief executive officer Andrew Harrison (pictured) said: “The idea of mobile web safety is still a relatively new concept for many.

“Smartphones bring a whole host of benefits to everyday life but parents need to be savvy to children’s usage in order to avoid possible dangers.”