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A survey carried out by web security company Westcoastcloud for UK Safer Internet Day (Feb 7) reveals that although half of parents in Scotland have installed software to protect their children from accessing unsuitable content when they use desktop PCs and laptops in the home, only 1 in 4 has installed similar protection on the mobile phones, games consoles and television services their kids also use in the house.
Bill Strain, Director of Westcoastcloud, says: “Whilst it’s encouraging that fifty per cent of parents in Scotland are being more vigilant about the risks their children face when going online on a computer or laptop, many of them are still failing to recognise that in our increasingly mobile world, the same level of protection needs to be provided when their children are accessing the internet via their mobile phones, the television and while they’re gaming.”
David Wright from the UK Safer Internet Centre said: “While the internet is such an amazing resource, just like life it carries risk, not least for children, with cyber bullying and adult content. Surveys like this demonstrate that online safety is a real issue for parents and that parenting in the 21st century is very different to that compared to the 20th century.”
The survey questioned 500 parents with children between 5 and 16 years of age.
While 49% said they had installed parental controls (filtering and blocking software) on computers and laptops their children used in the house, only 24% had done the same on mobile phones used at home. When asked whether they’d activated parental controls on games consoles like the Xbox or PlayStation, only 27% said they had, while only 24% had activated parental controls on their Sky TV or Freeview boxes. Almost 1 in 10 had not installed any internet protection software at all.
When asked how they rated their knowledge of how to keep their children safe online 68% admitted they weren’t completely confident, with 25% confessing that their knowledge was poor.
Westcoastcloud’s Netintelligence is the only web security software to have the BSI Kitemark for Child Online Safety.