We’ve teamed up with EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of BT Group to support parents in keeping their children safe online when giving the gift of mobile devices this Christmas.
More than 50% of children regularly use smartphones and tablets, and new research by EE shows that 35% of parents are planning on giving smartphones or tablets to their children this Christmas. While many parents do discuss online safety with their children regularly, 40% do not consider online safety when making purchases, and 25% have never used parental controls. A further 25% were unlikely to take the time to set up their child’s new tablet or smartphone safely during a busy Christmas day before letting them get online.
In response to these findings, we’ve teamed up with EE to offer clear and easy advice this Christmas, including free wrapping paper with online safety tips in 200 EE stores. The wrapping paper features a festive theme on the outside and easy-to-follow advice on the inside, providing much needed help for parents who may be feeling overwhelmed, uninformed or ill-equipped to talk about online safety issues with their children. This is accompanied by further information in-store, as well support on our site.
Check the basic safety settings are set up and active e.g. location settings and the app store permissions
Review their apps – make sure they are age appropriate and privacy settings are on
Turn on Google ‘Safe Search’ and ‘Restricted Mode’ on YouTube to help screen out inappropriate content
All EE phones are set by default to moderate which limits access to things like pornography – but EE also offers one of the most comprehensive content locks in the UK, specifically designed for parents to activate on devices that they give to children that restricts un-moderated social media and sets Google Safe Search by default. Parents can set this by texting ‘strict’ to 879.
Always keep your phone safe and secured with a PIN
Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognise
Don’t give your number to strangers
Never share personal information online
Never send pictures to people you don’t know
Marc Allera, CEO of EE and BT’s consumer businesses, said: “Smartphones and tablets are the main way that children get online, and we know it can be tough for parents to stay on top of all of the latest apps, games and social networks that our children are using. By working with Internet Matters and providing clear online safety information in our stores this Christmas, we’re going to help more parents across the UK get their children online safely so they can enjoy all that the latest technology has to offer.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “We know there’s a real demand from parents who want to know more about how to keep their children safe online.
“Partnering with EE, the first mobile network operator to join the partnership, is another big step towards building an industry collective with a common purpose, working together to improve children’s internet safety and empower all parents and carers to help their children benefit from digital technology smartly and safely.”