Uncovering The Online Knowledge Gap: Searches For Smartphone Safety Features Peak By 5000%

February 1, 2024
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With over a third (35%) of parents confessing to their child knowing more about tech than they do, Samsung re-affirms its commitment to online safety with a programme to help parents and children navigate their first devices– in time for Safer Internet Day (6th February)


LONDON, UK – Thursday 1st February 2024 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd: Parents are grappling with how to parent digitally, with over half expressing concern for their child’s online safety (53%) – ranking just second to worries over their general health and wellbeing (67%).


Despite growing concerns, the research commissioned by Samsung, ahead of Safer Internet Day, has unveiled a knowledge gap when it comes to safeguarding a child’s first device. Studies show 91% of 11-year-olds now own a mobile[1], but over a third of parents (35%) confess to their children knowing more about technology than them and almost a fifth (17%) are unaware of how to set up parental controls on smartphones altogether.


In fact, Google searches for how to set up safety features have peaked by over 5000% in the last three months. Further to this, 21% feel like their young ones are more in the know on AI[2].


This year, celebrations and learning on Safer Internet Day (February 6th) will highlight the importance of young people’s voices – understanding the changes they want to see online and what their perspectives are on new and emerging technology. To support this, Samsung has partnered with a local school and parenting influencers to ask them what they think about the issue.


Andrew Reedie, Class Teacher at King’s Cross Academy said: A lot of parents haven’t necessarily grown up with the technology and digital opportunities we see today, and the rapid pace of development means they are essentially learning about it at the same time as their kids. It’s not hard to see how this can be scary, particularly when it comes to more complicated topics such as AI.”


Despite over 1 in 10 parents (12%) being unsure of how to have conversations with their child about online safety, it seems that Generation Alpha is more confident with life online than expected.  As part of the collaboration, Samsung asked children to express what AI meant to them via informal debate and digital drawings. Despite natural concerns from their elders, children were excited about the future of tech and the positive about the impact AI is having on their day-to-day lives, both in and out of education.


Indiana, 10 years old, Student of King’s Cross Academy said: “We already use AI in our everyday lives, it’s part of our learning at school for loads of different topics. While people can take advantage of it, you’ve got others using it for good things like taking care of crops. People should pay attention as in the future, it could help us to grow new species of plants.”


Ariella, 11 years old, Student of King’s Cross Academy said: “AI is weird but also super cool. I like that I can interact and get information from something that isn’t just a human.”


To support Safer Internet Day, Samsung is helping to plug the gap with a free workshop to further support children with understanding AI in the context of online safety.


Hosted at Samsung KX, in King’s Cross, London, this will be the first in a series of events as part of the commitment to the online safety of children and supporting parents throughout the UK.


Samsung has also renewed its partnership with Internet Matters for the fifth year, giving parents and carers throughout the nation easy access to a range of online safety guides and educational tools to use with their children through ‘The Online Together Project’.


James Kitto, Vice President, Head of MX Division at Samsung UK said:

“As a technology company, we have a responsibility to ensure our innovations have a positive impact on society as a whole, and our continued work with Internet Matters is a testament to our commitment to keeping children safe online. We are committed to supporting parents as their children navigate the online world, which includes providing education on the parental controls on our devices.


Jessie Soohyun Park, Head of CSR at Samsung UK said:

“As a parent, I know how important it is to understand the online space and what it can mean for children. But amongst everything else going on in our lives, it can be tricky to know where to start. Hearing from the children has been eye-opening, as it has shown this generation is hopeful for the future of technology when able to use it safely.”


Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy S24 series, which leads the way into a new era that will forever change how mobile devices empower users. AI amplifies nearly every experience responsibly, for example, anytime Galaxy S24 deploys generative AI to amplify an image, a watermark will appear on the image and in the metadata.


To find out more about Samsung’s commitment to online safety visit: https://www.samsung.com/uk/sustainability/online-safety/ 


To find out more about the latest S series visit: Pre Order Galaxy S24 & S24 Plus | Price & Deals | Samsung UK


[1] Source: https://hyperjar.com/blog/what-age-should-a-child-have-a-phone-uk 

[2] Google Trends | Rising searches related to “parental controls” in the past 90 days

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