Parental controls for mobile phones

03 February 2020

This guide explains more about mobile internet safety and shows you how to find information to keep your children safe online.

Mobile parental controls

  • All mobile phone providers offer free parental control services which limit the content children can access via the internet to content suitable for under 18s. However, they may not always be automatically switched on. Check with your service provider that the parental control settings are switched on, and ask for them to be switched on if they are not. You should be able to do this via your account setting on your provider’s website.
  • Young people often take photographs and videos of themselves and each other on their mobile phones but they should be very careful how they then share these images. Embarrassing or inappropriate photos/videos could easily be passed between phones and put online. Once sent or put online, control over the images may be lost and they could end up in the hands of strangers. Photographs or videos may also be used to fuel bullying or harassment. Visit the thinkuknow website for more information and advice on this.
  • If your child has a profile on a social networking site they will likely access it on their mobile phone. Ensure they know why it is important to allow their personal information only to be shared with people they know in the real world. Most of the social networking sites specify a minimum age of 13 for all members. For those sites that are aimed at younger children, parental consent and confirmation of the child’s age will usually be required. Check the minimum age requirement for users – ask your child which sites they visit to make sure they’re visiting sites appropriate for their age.

Reporting inappropriate material

Parents and carers should encourage their children to tell them about anything they have seen or heard that has made them feel uncomfortable or scared.

Parents and carers should report incidents to their mobile network operator and in instances of sexual contact to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) using their report abuse button.

Other useful websites