One In Seven Parents Have Found Explicit Content On Child's Mobile Phone

Do you check what your child has been looking at online or on their mobile phone?

And have you been left dismayed, even shocked, by some of the content they've been viewing? If so, you're not alone.

According to new research, one in seven parents has found explicit content on the mobile device of kids as young as seven (though what an earth a seven-year-old is doing with a mobile phone isn't explained).

And nearly half of the 2,000 parents surveyed said they had been concerned about search terms found in their child's Google history.

Terms like 'sex', 'kissing, 'girls' and 'naked pictures' were all words and phrases that parents suspect their children have searched for.

A quarter said they'd looked for inappropriate jokes online and songs with explicit lyrics.

And one in 10 children had sought out movies with an age classification of 18.

According to internet and mobile security firm BullGuard, which carried out the survey, the biggest threat is from 'sinister' content that children accidentally stumble across.

BullGuard spokesman Cam Le said: "This research shows that many children are stumbling across inappropriate material on their smartphones or tablets, perhaps unintentionally.

"What may start out as searching for fairly innocent terms in Google could throw up some sinister results, which could confuse or traumatise young children.

"Naturally children will be curious about certain topics and as they grow older it will be commonplace to search for terms they have heard in the playground or heard adults use.

"You will never stop curious children and teenagers Googling things like parts of the body, and inappropriate words in a bid to get answers to their questions, but it's a parent's job to ensure their child's phone or tablet has strict parental controls.

"Parents will need to decide what level of content they want their child accessing. It will vary on the child's age and the parents' outlook.

"Checking their history is a good way of seeing what they are up to, and modern mobile security software allows parents to set up keywords to flag alerts, view reports on activity and block certain sites automatically.

"This extends to cover more general smartphone use that includes calls and messages, so the tools are out there to safeguard children and offer significant peace of mind to parents."