8% of UK kid aged ten or under have a social networking service account
A survey conducted by cloud-based internet security services firm Westcoastcloud has found that nearly 10% of UK children aged ten or under use an internet capable smartphone, such as the iPhone or Android based phones.
The survey also found that nearly a third of children aged ten or under have their own mobile phone.
In the survey of parents in the UK, the cloud security firm questioned 2,000 families with children aged 10 or below about technology ownership. The poll found that 17% of parents bought their kids a phone after constant pestering by their kids.
The company said that based on the survey 16% of kids have their own laptop, 25% have their own email address, while 8% had a social networking service account.
Westcoastcloud commissioned the survey to coincide with the release of its iPad internet security product for schools Netintelligence as an App on iTunes. The report found that one in twenty primary school children now own an iPad.
The extent to which today’s youngsters rely on technology was revealed following the study.
Westcoastcloud director Bill Strain said, "It’s great that youngsters are interested and engaged with the latest technology, but children owning their own phones as young as four does seem unnecessary."
"Kids will always be able to gain access to their parents’ phones and laptops but when primary school age children gain access to the internet on these devices, parents need to be aware. There’s the potential that they could access unsuitable or potentially harmful content," added Strain.
The survey also found that a third of the children who used their parents’ phones did so for internet related activities such as looking at You Tube, emailing, or using Facebook or Twitter.
Strain added, "If parents are happy for their children to be using these products they need to understand that the internet is not a private place. Filtering products are available that can help parents keep their children safe online."
Broadband providers in the UK may be forced to offer parents ways of protecting their children from harmful online content as part of a new Communications Act.