London,
06
February
2018
|
10:13
Europe/London

EE trains thousands of customer service staff to help parents have ‘The New Talk’ with their children about internet safety

  • EE marks Safer Internet Day by rolling out training across 600 retail outlets
  • Thousands of EE customer service representatives will be equipped with new step by step guides on setting parental controls as new research from partner Internet Matters reveals that seven out of ten teens want parents to set filters to protect them online
  • EE has developed ‘The New Talk’ - a series of conversation starters to help parents talk with their children about staying safe online – with Internet Matters

EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of BT Group, is marking Safer Internet Day with a nationwide rollout of specialist mobile and online safety training for thousands of customer service employees, as well as ‘The New Talk’, a series of conversation starters developed with Internet Matters to help parents talk with their children about staying safe online.

Rolling out to thousands of employees across 600 retail outlets, the training prepares EE’s customer service representatives to offer the best advice on safety options and filters as well as direct millions of parents across the UK to resources to help deal with difficult subjects like cyberbullying. The training has been made possible through a partnership with online safety experts Internet Matters.

EE acknowledges that parenting in the digital age is becoming increasingly tricky, with normal conversations on the ‘birds and the bees’ no longer being enough. As a result, EE has also collaborated with Internet Matters to develop ‘The New Talk’, a series of ‘conversation starters’ that cover the ‘snaps and the bytes’ aiming to provide parents with ways to talk with their children, broaching difficult topics relating to online safety.

Marc Allera, CEO of EE and BT’s consumer businesses, said: “We understand that parenting in the digital world can be a daunting job and, while many parents do discuss online safety with their children regularly, many device purchases are made without thinking about having the necessary ‘talk’. I am delighted that we’re training our customer service staff to support parents, like myself, to have ‘The New Talk on internet safety with their children – alongside support and advice on important issues such as online behaviour, safety and security.”

‘The New Talk’ conversation starters developed by EE and Internet Matters include:

  • Ask your children to tell you about the apps they like to use and how they like to use their mobile devices.
  • Ask them for advice on how they keep their photos and videos safe on their mobiles. What do they think is ok to share? What tips do they have?
  • Ask them if they know where to go for help if they are worried about their safety online. Do they know how to access privacy settings or how to report or block on the services they use?
  • Ask for their help in getting the most out of your mobile, what more could you be doing and what is safe to use?
  • Ask your children how you can get more out of mobile devices as a family.

CEO of Internet Matters Carolyn Bunting said: "With the rapid pace of technology, parents can often feel bewildered when it comes to understanding the latest devices, apps and gadgets. We're delighted to be partnering with EE to offer practical one-to-one advice in store and answer any questions parents may have about their child's online safety."

These initiatives are in response to new findings from Internet Matters, revealing that seven out of ten teens want parents to set filters to protect them online, and form the second public commitment EE has made to working towards a safer internet since becoming a partner of Internet Matters in December – the first mobile network operator to do so.

Internet Matters ambassador and psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said: "A combination of knowing how to set parental controls and having regular conversations with your child about their digital world are both key to keeping them safe online."

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.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

ee@nelsonbostock.com

0845 373 7070

About EE

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 90% 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.