Survery: 52% parents say they wouldn’t survive online world
August 8, 2022
Research commissioned by EE has revealed that 52 per cent of parents admit that they would not be able to survive the online world if they were a child today.
Additionally, 60 per cent of parents fear that even their kids know very little about how to protect themselves when using their phones. While 74 per cent of mums and dads have tried to educate their children, a somewhat concerning 55 per cent admit that if their child saw something unsuitable online they wouldn’t know how to stop them seeing it again.
What’s more, parents’ fears aren’t only focused on exposure to unsuitable content, but also on their kids’ own behaviour, too – 35 per cent of parents think their kids are always truthful about their identity or age online, with 10 per cent going further and saying they think their kids are usually untruthful about their age. Furthermore 24 per cent of parents are more worried about their child’s activity online than offline. The data even showed that 20 per cent fear that their child could be guilty of sending unkind messages themselves although 57 per cent admitted ignorance is bliss as they don’t look at their kids’ phones for fear of what they’ll find.
With a growing concern around the impact of phone use and 24 per cent of parents worrying that phones actually make their child unhappy, 66 per cent are calling for online platforms to do more to protect children. To address this, EE has created the PhoneSmart Licence – an online course educating children from all mobile network providers on how to stay safe and be kind online. It was created in partnership with experts from Internet Matters to give parents that additional peace of mind as their children enter the online world.
To help parents learn how to support and educate their children on safe phone usage, EE has launched a specially created Beano comic strip starring iconic characters Mrs Menace and Dennis showcasing the potential perils of the online world, and providing parents with actionable tips to ensure their kids stay safe and are kind online.
Mat Sears, Director of Corporate Affairs, Consumer Division, said: “As a lifelong Beano fan it’s a real joy to see characters I’ve loved grapple with the same challenges every parent faces when their kids explore the online world. From learning who to trust online, through to which apps and games are safer to use – our comic strips provide parents and kids alike a fun and engaging way to learn how to safely use their phones.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, added: “Resources such as EE’s PhoneSmart Licence are helping to address the need for educational resources for young people and their parents. Even in an environment where the internet is second nature, campaigns such as this are vital in helping to increase understanding of the risks of the digital world and how to overcome them.”