Over half of British parents don’t restrict who kids talk to online


child and mother on laptop
With children more connected than ever, a new study from Tesco Mobile and Internet Matters has revealed insights into the lack of current controls parents have in place to protect their kids.

Over half (61%) admit to not having any rules about who their child communicates with online, while only a third (32%) have controls in place for images and videos that their child posts on social media. 9% of parents admitted to having no parental controls in place at all.

The research, which surveyed parents of children aged 4-13, also highlighted the challenges parents face when deciding which rules and controls to enforce as they set up their child’s first device. While most parents (81%) say they would allow a child under 13 access to the internet, nearly half (49%) struggle to decide which online safety rules to implement.

To support parents navigating increasingly complex online spaces, the Little Digital Helps Toolkit has been created by Tesco Mobile and Internet Matters as a one-stop shop.

The toolkit features tailored plans for families, providing parents and carers with guidance and resources to keep their child safe online.

Says Rachel Swift, Tesco Mobile Chief Customer Officer:  

“We know the importance of staying connected and the opportunities technology can unlock for children. But it’s clear from this research that many families face challenges knowing how to keep their children safe online. To offer a helping hand, we’ve partnered with Internet Matters and created our Little Digital Helps Toolkit, a handy resource for parents and families.”

Adds Carolyn Bunting MBE, Co-CEO at Internet Matters:  

“Giving your child their first mobile can be a difficult decision and that’s why we’re delighted to have partnered with Tesco Mobile, to create the Little Digital Helps Toolkit, a place where parents can go to receive tailored advice and guidance on setting the right controls for their children’s devices and online activity. The personalised advice will give parents the peace of mind and reassurance that they have set up their child’s device in a safe and age-appropriate way.”

The survey by Tesco Mobile and Internet Matters also revealed the top 10 online rules that parents do have in place to make sure their children aren’t exposed to risks while they game, chat online or post on social media. 

  1. Don’t accept requests from strangers
  2. Don’t share personal information
  3. Don’t share your address
  4. Ask permission before downloading anything
  5. Don’t pay for anything online
  6. Don’t put any bank card details online
  7. Only talk to real life friends or family members
  8. Don’t share any personal information on social media platforms
  9. Don’t accept friends on social media platforms if you don’t know them
  10. Don’t call people names/be horrible in group chats

To check out the Little Digital Helps Toolkit and download your family’s tailored plan, head to internetmatters.org/little-digital-helps-toolkit


Chris Price
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