Are you buy your kids smartphones, tablets or games consoles for Christmas? If so you’re not alone. Christmas Day 2012 likely to see more internet-connected devices given as gifts than ever before. However, there is one thing to consider before you tech-up your child and that’s how to ensure that there are age-appropriate safety restrictions in place before they start using their new devices on Christmas Day.
With Currys and PC World are reporting one new tablet sold every two seconds and an Ofcom report showing as many as 1 in 6 parents buy gadgets they don’t understand how to use, and only 16% of parents install controls for games consoles, 31% for smartphones and 46% for laptops, it’s pretty bad news if you’re trying to protect your kids from adult content.
It’s one reason why Microsoft has created the Twelve Steps from Santa list so that parents have easy access to all the information and guidance they need to safely set up devices on Christmas Day. The steps are part of a new website dedicated to Whole Family Safety and backed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and Childnet Microsoft has also partnered with Currys and PC World to distribute 50,000 copies of guidelines in stores around the UK. These tips include:
- Age-specific guidance to help parents decide what is the right approach to take for each member of their family – including guidance compiled by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).
- Product-specific advice for anyone setting up a new PC, tablet, laptop, games console or smartphone – bringing together all of Microsoft’s product safety advice in one place.
- The above checklist with twelve easy steps that parents can take on Christmas Day to ensure new devices are safe for family use.
- Guidance on where they can get further information and support from Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and Childnet.
It’s well worth bearing in mind for any device that connects to the Internet.
So are you buying your child a phone or tablet for Christmas, if so have you thought about parental controls? Let us know.