UK children get their first mobile phone at the age of 12 on average, but in many cases much younger kids are treated with the latest gadget that allows them to browse the Internet or share images and videos, data from a new poll by security provider AdaptiveMobile suggests.

Although many parents happily set out on a mission to provide their child with the long-craved-for device, 55% of them admit that mobiles are among the most difficult aspect of their kids´ lives to control, far more inaccessible than games consoles, desktop computers and laptops.

What parents find most concerning about their children using mobile phones is potentially falling victim to cyber bullying, sexting and accessing inappropriate content. Over half of those polled admit they would like to have more control over their kids´ mobile device and 51% want to know who their child is talking to. A further 52% wish they could see what their offspring is looking at when using their smartphone.

In a bid to educate their children about the risks of using a mobile devices, more than two in three parents have discussed cyber bullying and almost one in three have talked about sexting with their children.

Still, parents are aware that protecting their kids from mobile device-associated risks is their own responsibility, with 89% sharing this opinion. By contrast, a more modest 26% consider this the operator´s duty.

Ben Hollom

July 2, 2012