Fifth of kids have accessed porn on phones

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Children are using smart phones to access inappropriate material (Picture by Laihiu)

MORE than one in five children in Scotland have accessed inappropriate web content on their mobile phones, a new survey says.

Around 25% of children inScotlandalso reported being a victim of bullying on their mobile phones in the survey,  well above the UK average of 12%.

The study, carried out by YouGov for the Carphone Warehouse looked some of the 2.8 million 8-15-year-olds who have smartphones in the UK.

22% of children in Scotland said they had accessed inappropriate websites accidentally or on purpose.

The study also found far fewer parental and security checks were placed on online mobiles than on personal computers.

Additionally, the survey found using mobile phones for social networking has dramatically increased amongst children.

In the past three years, the number of children accessing social networking sites on their mobile phones has increased almost eight fold, the Carphone Warehouse said.

Using social networking went from just 5% in 2008 to 38% in 2011; making it now the second most popular online mobile activity.

The most popular smartphone activity is playing games, with 73% of the children surveyed saying they used their phone for gaming.

25% of Scots children said they had received bullying calls or text messages, and 22% said they had told an adult about it.

Fascinating

6% of the Scots respondents said they had been forced to change their mobile phone numbers because of the bullying.

The survey saw 6% of respondents across the UK say they had taken part in cyber-bullying.

Using mobile phones to watch online videos also doubled from 2008, going from 15% to 36%.

The Carphone Warehouse worked with Edge Hill University’s Professor Tanya Bryon, to develop a free advice booklet for parents to educate on the security measure available.

The booklet is to be distributed at all Carphone Warehouse shops in the UK this month.

Professor Byron, who has been advising the Government on child internet safety since 2007, said: “The online world is incredibly fascinating and exciting to explore, however just as in the real world there are potential risks for young people.

“With such a digital divide between generations, only 16% of children in Scotland have the correct parental restrictions installed on their phone.

“We feel it’s important we help parents to protect their children by making sure their mobile phones are secure and that they know what activities their children are engaging with online and how to communicate any concerns or worries.”

Andrew Harrison, CEO of Carphone Warehouse, said: “With the increase in smartphones, online content and apps, children are increasingly wanting the newest smartphones and now it’s common place to see them in classrooms.

“95% of all mobile phones used by children in Scotland were bought for them by parents or relatives.

“We want to help UK parents feel confident to know how to help keep their child safe whilst using the latest mobile phones.”

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