EE partners with Internet Matters to keep children safe online this Christmas
- EE and Internet Matters team up to provide top tips for parents giving the gift of gadgets this Christmas – including free specially designed wrapping paper in EE stores that features top tips for internet safety
- Guidance comes as new survey reveals that while 35% of parents are planning on giving smartphones or tablets to their children this Christmas, 40% do not consider online safety when buying technology for their children, and 25% have never used parental controls
- EE is also the first mobile network operator to join Internet Matters, helping to provide mobile and online safety expertise and advice to millions more parents across the UK
EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of BT Group, is teaming up with online safety experts, Internet Matters, to support parents in keeping their children safe online when giving the gift of mobile devices this Christmas.
More than 50% of children regularly use smartphones and tablets, and new research by EE shows that 35% of parents are planning on giving smartphones or tablets to their children this Christmas. While many parents do discuss online safety with their children regularly, 40% do not consider online safety when making purchases, and 25% have never used parental controls. A further 25% were unlikely to take the time to set up their child’s new tablet or smartphone safely during a busy Christmas day before letting them get online.
In response to these findings, EE and Internet Matters have teamed up to offer clear and easy advice this Christmas, including free wrapping paper with online safety tips in 200 EE stores. The wrapping paper features a festive theme on the outside and easy-to-follow advice on the inside, providing much needed help for parents who may be feeling overwhelmed, uninformed or ill-equipped to talk about online safety issues with their children. This is accompanied by further information in-store, as well as internetmatters.org and ee.co.uk.
The top tips for parents from EE and Internet Matters to help keep children safe online this Christmas include:
- Check the basic safety settings are set up and active e.g. location settings and the app store permissions
- Review their apps – make sure they are age appropriate and privacy settings are on
- Turn on Google ‘Safe Search’ and ‘Restricted Mode’ on YouTube to help screen out inappropriate content
- Check they’re connected safely – set parental controls on your broadband and apply a content lock on their mobile network
- All EE phones are set by default to moderate which limits access to things like pornography – but EE also offers one of the most comprehensive content locks in the UK, specifically designed for parents to activate on devices that they give to children that restricts un-moderated social media and sets Google Safe Search by default. Parents can set this by texting ‘strict’ to 879.
- Ensure your children know the rules:
- Always keep your phone safe and secured with a PIN
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognise
- Don’t give your number to strangers
- Never share personal information online
- Never send pictures to people you don’t know
- Stay engaged – have regular conversations with your children about what they do
Marc Allera, CEO of EE and BT’s consumer businesses, said: “Smartphones and tablets are the main way that children get online, and we know it can be tough for parents to stay on top of all of the latest apps, games and social networks that our children are using. By working with Internet Matters and providing clear online safety information in our stores this Christmas, we’re going to help more parents across the UK get their children online safely so they can enjoy all that the latest technology has to offer.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “We know there’s a real demand from parents who want to know more about how to keep their children safe online.
“Partnering with EE, the first mobile network operator to join the partnership, is another big step towards building an industry collective with a common purpose, working together to improve children’s internet safety and empower all parents and carers to help their children benefit from digital technology smartly and safely.”
Internet Matters is a non-for-profit organisation, founded in 2014, which has been backed by some of the UK’s biggest internet providers including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, in the first industry coalition of its kind. EE is joining the organisation to help provide mobile expertise, and to help Internet Matters share the latest online safety advice with even more parents and children across the UK.
For more information, please contact:
0845 373 7070
EE, part of BT Group, is the largest and most advanced mobile communications company in the UK, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers.
EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, offering superfast 4G in more places than any other operator after pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. Today, EE has more than 600 shops across the UK, and EE's 4G coverage extends to more than 86% of the UK’s landmass.
EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®; Best Network for five years in a row at the Mobile Choice Awards; Best Network at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Mobile News Awards; Best Consumer Network at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Mobile Industry Awards; as well as Fastest Network and Best Network Coverage at the 2017 uSwitch Mobile Awards.
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About Internet Matters
Internet Matters (internetmatters.org) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which aims to help parents keep their children safe online. It was founded by the UK’s four major broadband providers; BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, with the BBC, Google, Dixons Carphone and Facebook joining as partners in 2016. Internet Matters is an Executive Member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and an industry expert working with The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, founded by the Duke of Cambridge. It was awarded a grant from the Department for Education, to deliver the ‘Make A Noise’ programme, a reporting and resource platform, developed alongside Tootoot to help combat bullying in schools.