Help & Advice16th July 2015

Sexting is UK Parents Biggest Concern when it comes to their Childs Smartphone Use

Knowing and understanding how your children are using their smartphones is important for parents

by SLFirst Team

Mobile phones have opened up wonderful methods of communication to deaf people. Those who have embraced this new technology, use their phones extensively with deaf children amongst the most avid users. Brought up in this technology rich era, Deaf children understand all of the capabilities, which is brilliant, but it would be foolish to believe that there is no increased risk. To make sure your deaf child is safe and does not get exploited, it is important that you understand what they are doing and what the capabilities of their mobile phones are. A new study outlines how parents feel and what can be done about it.

A new study has found that 65% of parents are concerned about the rise of sexting, the worrying trend that is becoming the ‘norm’, leaving youngsters vulnerable to exploitation and blackmail.

The survey, carried out by mobile phone comparison site Tiger Mobiles, quizzed 3750 parents with children aged between 12-16 years who own a smartphone. Key findings revealed that:

• 65% of parents revealed they had concerns about the possibility of their children sexting (sending & receiving)
• However, as far as talking to their children about their behaviours and risks associated with owning a smartphone, a surprising 58% admitted they have not done so.
• Other concerns include cyberbullying (45%), accessing inappropriate content (62%) and racking up bills through apps and other micro-purchases (24%)
• 35% of parents said they occasionally monitor their child’s smartphone activity with their child’s knowledge. Compared to 23% who said they do so without their child’s knowledge.
• 19% of parents had made use of location tracking to track their child’s location
• 43% of parents also expressed a significant dissatisfaction with sex education at school citing irrelevance to their real experiences, lack of relationship advice and lack of discussion of sex issues as problems.

The survey comes after the Agency of Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) revealed it receives reports of young people sending self-generated nude or nearly nude visuals on a daily basis. 

Brandon Ackroyd, head of customer insight at Tiger Mobiles believes that parents concerns are justified due to, “growing smartphone ownership amongst children, together with fast moving technology, which has helped create a perfect storm.”

He added, “With technology moving at such a fast pace even the cheapest mobiles now have cameras that children can easily take pictures of themselves and distribute them online. Practically all modern phones have a connection to the internet meaning "sexts" can instantly be posted on social networking sites which are accessible by millions of people.”

“Parents need to be aware that when a child uses a mobile device to access the web they are using the same internet as on a computer and unfortunately there is a knowledge gap whereby parents don’t think smartphones and tablets need the same level of protection as a PC or Laptop. This way of thinking needs to change.”

Ackroyd also believes that as well as parents needing to brush up on technological skills the need for proper communication with their child about the risks is a necessity.

“We live in a highly sexualised media environment. Sexting has become extremely popular amongst this generation and the pressure placed on younger kids to participate is growing. That means that sext prevention messaging and explaining the risks to a child is critically important.”

Those thoughts were echoed by web safety campaigner Alexis Vanni who said parents should engage with children if they discover they have been involved in sexting.

She said: 'If you discover your child has sexted, don't shame them, which can drive the behaviour underground. Explain the risks and let your child see past their naivety surrounding the implications of sending sexual messages. Let them know they can assert their right to not be constantly badgered to send sexual content or images."

Tiger Mobiles have also produced a handy resource on How Parents Can Protect Their Children on a Smartphone see it here:


This survey was commissioned by Tiger Mobiles and conducted by polling agency Carter Digby online within the United Kingdom between May 18th and June 1st, 2015 among 6,286 adults whom have children aged between 12-16 years old. 3,750 of whom have children who own a smartphone.

Article by SLFirst Team

posted in Community / Help & Advice

16th July 2015