O2 and NSPCC partner this Christmas

Christmas maybe sold as a very family experience, but this year would probably see the most amount of digital gifts being given away to kids. This means that more kids will be spending time online, and this puts online safety at the forefront. O2 and NSPCC have partnered this Christmas to bring awareness to parents and help them protect their kids when online.

Read on for the complete press release:

Final roll of the dice for board games as tech trumps traditional gifts for kids as young as three this Christmas 

  • More conversations with kids needed to make the most connected Christmas a safe one – O2 and NSPCC

Monday 21st December: This Christmas is set to be the most connected yet, with eight in ten parents of under 13-year-olds buying their child a smartphone, tablet or games console this year – but not all of them will come with a family conversation on how to use the internet safely.

New research commissioned by O2 and the NSPCC shows that more than half of parents polled (55%) are buying a connected device for a child who is aged four or younger for the first time, and more than a third (35%) are buying their three-year-old a tablet this Christmas.

With kids eager to try out their new digital toys as  parents tend to their turkey dinners or enjoy their own gifts, children will be let loose on the internet for longer than usual – almost a quarter of parents (22%) admit they will let their children go online more over the holidays. In fact, parents think using the internet will replace Christmas traditions like playing board games – with twice as many expecting their children to go online (53%) than play a game of Monopoly over the Christmas period (25%).

Amid the surge in digital gift giving and time online this year, a significant proportion of the nation’s parents are taking a laid back approach to keeping their kids safe as they use their new devices. More than half polled (53%) say they won’t speak to their child about internet safety until after they receive the device, while almost a third won’t be activating any parental controls before giving it to their child (28%). Surprisingly, one in five parents (19%) say they won’t have this conversation with children as young as five because they trust their child to use the internet safely.

Despite this more laid back approach, parents do recognise that, just like with the offline world, they should take steps to help keep their children safe.  In fact, a third of parents polled (35%) said they worry about their children using the internet and admit they should talk to them more.

Of the more proactive parents who plan on speaking to their children about internet safety, one in four parents (26%) think their conversation will not have an impact, highlighting further guidance may be needed to ensure that parent’s conversations will help keep their children safe online this festive season.

Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 said:“More children than ever before will be opening new digital toys on Christmas morning this year. It’s important they and their parents are able to enjoy their gifts safely and have a positive digital experience.

“We all know Christmas can be an especially busy period for parents and it can be difficult to find time to activate settings, have conversations about internet safety or enjoy your child’s digital experience with them. That’s why our partnership with NSPCC is designed to make it easy, giving free, personalised advice through our dedicated helpline – so parents can keep their children safe and enjoy time online together.”

NSPCC Chief Executive, Peter Wanless said:  “Just as you would set up your child’s new bike before wrapping it up, we want to encourage all parents to do the same with their child’s new tablet or phone.  Once the parental controls and privacy settings are in place, help them learn to use it.  In just the same way as you would help your child learn to ride a bike with stabilisers, you can help them learn about the online world; exploring it together and having regular, informed conversations is the best way to keep them safe online.”

To ensure parents can access the practical advice and support they need to help their children stay safe online, O2 and NSPCC are providing free expert advice to parents via:

  • A new, free dedicated helpline for advice on how to set up devices or have conversations with your kids about their online life. Call us on 0808 800 5002. Or if you prefer to speak to someone face to face, you always head to your local O2 store to speak to an O2 Guru offering free impartial tech advice.
  • NetAware – a guide to the 50 most used apps by young people. Together with Mumsnet, over 500 mums and dads and nearly 2500 young people have reviewed social networks and apps that children use. Visit it at http://www.net-aware.org.uk/
  • Easy to access, step-by-step advice from O2’s tech experts, O2 Gurus, showing how to activate controls on new devices o2.co.uk/nspcc

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