A recent Mobile Safety Study of 1,000 parents and 500 children by GfK shows that 39 percent of children ages 12-14 know someone who has received a sexual message or picture over their phone – a figure that jumps to 53 percent among children ages 15-17. Additionally, nearly one in five 8- to 11-year-olds surveyed have received a mean or bullying text message.
According to study:
- The average age a child is given their first phone is 12.1; the average age for a child’s first smartphone is 13.8, among those with a phone
- 48 percent of children ages 12-14 have ridden in a vehicle with someone who was texting while driving. Among those ages 15-17, the percentage of teens who have ridden with a driver who was texting increases to 64 percent
- One in four teens ages 15-17 have received mean or bullying text messages (compared to nearly one in five reported by both 8- to 11- and 12- to 14-year-olds)
- More than half ofmteens ages 15-17 know someone who has received a sexual message or picture over their phone (compared to 39 percent among those aged 12-14)
- 58 percent of parents say that their mobile phone provider offers tools or resources for parents to address issues like overages, safety, security and monitoring. One in seven is not sure whether they have access to these services.
AT&T commissioned the study to better understand the most prevalent wireless safety issues for families.
While the study results bring up a variety of concerns, there are ways parents
can manage how a mobile phone is used. AT&T offers tools for free that can
block what content may be accessed, times of day phones can be used and ways to block texts and calls from bullies.
Additionally, AT&T FamilyMap can help parents locate their children and it
will send alerts at predetermined times with the child’s location, such as when
they should have arrived at home or school.
Full survey results, information about AT&T’s menu of parental controls and a library of resources on mobile safety topics can be found on The Mobile Safety website<http://www.att.com/familysafety>.