Bite-Sized Insights: Kids and Smartphones and Safety Apps

bite sized insights from parents about kids and smarthphones

Each week we ask our trusted Insights panel of parents a key question. This week we were interested in finding out what their thoughts are about kids and smartphones, and also whether they use any safety apps on their phones. It turns out that most parents either haven’t let their child have a smartphone yet but if they have, only one third of those parents are using safety apps. Take a quick read of this week’s bite-sized insights to find out what else our trusted panel told us:

Would you like business-transforming insights for your brand? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help your decision making and activate customers. Contact us now to find how we can help.

Recommended reading: Bite-Sized Insights: Family Phone Service

We asked our Insights panel of parents to answer these quick questions:

If your child owns a smartphone do you use an app or anything to keep them safe when they are out and about?

  • My child doesn’t own a smartphone 67%
  • My child has a smartphone but I don’t use any app 22%
  • My child has a smartphone and I use an app (comment below which app) 11%

Which app do you use?

The three apps that were mentioned by parents were:

  1. Google Family Link
  2. iPhone parental controls
  3. Find My Phone


bite sized insights from parents about kids and smarthphones

Any other thoughts on smartphones + your child?

Comments from our panel members included:

“I think there should be an age limit on phones. Children are not mature enough to cope with bullying and upsetting material as we have sadly seen too often.”

“I feel the end of 6th class is time enough for a child to get a phone. Most secondary school students have one on entering first year but before then I feel they are too immature.”

“I think children need to be a bit older before they should have a phone, around 12. They are not emotionally ready to deal with issues that can arise online and I can’t see why they would need one – at primary school age, a parent or guardian would usually be present or know where they are to contact them”

“No smartphones until they’re teenagers, no phones in the bedroom (special storage box at night time in main family room-no snooping allowed parents) and a written contract between us and the child explaining in black and white what is and is not allowed.”

“I think children have smart phones too young these days. There needs to be apps on the parent’s phone which alerts the parent to anything suspicious or if the child accesses anything they shouldn’t.”

“We have a written contract (printed from web) and discussed content with our teens about what is not ok. What to talk to us about. What is inappropriate and about not sharing your details. They are on ‘private’ for Tik Tok etc. They asked us not to use parent apps but to trust them and their judgement. It’s not them we don’t trust.”

“They shouldn’t have them until secondary school and even then there should be a parental app to stop them from downloading apps without permission and limited access to the internet.”

“I made the mistake of giving my eldest child (now 19) a phone when she was 11 and regretted it completely so I’m going to hold off on giving my ten year old and three year old a phone for as long as I can.”

“We are happy and confident with our choice in having a mobile phone for our eldest. But we are savvy about parental controls and I wouldn’t be happy with the idea of him using a phone without them.”

“We have Find My Phone which indicates where they are.”

“Daughter is too young at the moment and she won’t get a phone until at least confirmation age. She can use mine if she needs to.”

Reflections for Telco and Tech Brands

  • When we reviewed family plan information on Irish phone service websites, we found very little evidence of advice for parents on online safety or how to implement controls. If it was there it was hard to find. We would recommend making this front and foremost to help parents. And also if they are considering switching to your service, that they know you are there to support them with not only managing their family plans but with keeping their child/teen safe.
  • Create helpful tips content that is either included with the new phones on a family plan or sent out by email for parents.
  • Use your social media channels to share quick useful tips for parents. For example, what should they do if they found out their child is approached by a stranger on Tik Tok?

Would you like business-transforming insights from parents for your business? Use our tailored panels of engaged parents and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence consumers to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.

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