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Majority of NZ Educate their Children About Online Safety

Study Finds Majority of New Zealand Parents Educate their Children About Online Safety

Research from Trend Micro reveals 47% of New Zealanders aged 3 – 15 use mobile devices for one to three hours per day

Auckland, NZ, 7 July, 2014 – Mobile devices are widely used by New Zealand children for activities ranging from games to education, according to a recent study from internet security pioneer, Trend Micro. Of 605 parents surveyed in the inaugural Trend Micro New Zealand Children & Mobile Device Survey, 61% of children aged 3-7, 59% of children aged 8-11 and 74% of children aged 12-15 either have their own mobile device or use their parent’s mobile devices.

On average, New Zealand parents feel the most appropriate age for children to start using mobile devices is 10 years, however mobile device exposure and ownership starts much younger. Close to half of 3 – 7 year olds use their parent’s devices and over a third of 8 – 11 year olds own their own device. The study found that the majority of children aged 8 – 15 spend between one and three hours per day on a mobile device. For children aged 3 – 11 tablets are most predominantly used (47%), while smartphones are the device most used by children 12 – 15.

When it comes to mobile security, three out of five parents said their children use passcodes and passwords. The same was true for antivirus and security software with three out of five parents saying their child use it on their mobile devices. When it comes to educating children about online safety, New Zealand parents seem to understand the importance with an average of 80% saying they talk with their children about how to stay safe online. However, on average 33% of parents said they do not believe their children understand online safety.

“Mobile devices are a huge part of everyday life for New Zealand youth. With children spending so much time online, it is crucial for parents to be hyperaware of the threats that exist online and how they can best protect their children,” said Tim Falinski, Director, Consumer, Australia and New Zealand at Trend Micro. “It is reassuring that New Zealand parents are educating their children about how to stay safe online, however with 33% of parents feeling that their children don’t understand safety online, clearly there is still a ways to go with educating children on using the internet safely.”

Other key findings in the study include:

Mobile device usage: The main reason children use mobile devices are for games and apps, with 42% of parents saying that was the primary use. Learning and education comes second, with an average of 24% of respondents saying their children use mobile devices for it.
Where devices are used: Children are most likely to use their mobile devices at home, with an average of 77% of respondents saying that’s where the devices are used the most.
Parent’s concerns: When asked what are their greatest concerns about their children using mobile devices was, access to inappropriate content was the greatest concern to parents.
Mobile devices in the classroom: 67% of parents say their child’s school use mobile devices for education. 70% of parents say they are more accepting of mobile devices being used in education compared to four years ago. 74% of parents believe that children who have access to mobile devices in education will have an educational advantage compared to their generation.

“With the benefits available to us through mobile devices, it’s great to see New Zealand children are using them for a variety of reasons that impact their lives in a positive way: everything from entertainment to education,” said Falinski. “As the use of mobile devices becomes more and more prevalent in the everyday lives of our kids, it’s crucial we teach them how to stay smart online in addition to taking the necessary measures, like ensuring the devices are secure against vulnerabilities and online attacks.”

About the Survey:
605 respondents completed the online poll, and the sample was an even spread of parents of children aged 3-7, 8-11 and 12-15. The respondents were 50% male, 50% female. The survey, conducted by OMD Insights, was sponsored by Trend Micro and conducted between 17 – 24 June, 2014.

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 25 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit

Top Ten Facts about how New Zealand Children are using Mobile Devices
1. On average, New Zealand parents believe the most appropriate age for children to start using mobile devices is 10 years old, however nearly half begin using mobiles devices at age three and own their own device by the time they’re eight years old.

2. Two out of three 12 to 15 year olds own their own mobile device to use for games, education and social media.

3. 64% of three to seven year olds use tablets and 39% of 12 to 15 year olds prefer to use smartphones as their mobile devices of choice.

4. Majority of children between eight and 15 years old use their mobile devices for 1-3 hours per day where as 63% of three to seven year olds use their devices for an hour or less.

5. Games and mobile apps are the main reason children between three and 15 are using mobile devices.

6. While games are generally viewed positively parents are concerned about in-app purchases and their kids spending too much time playing games.

7. 28% of kids aged 12-15 are more likely to use their mobile devices for social media, with 29% are using them for games and mobile apps.

8. 70% of parents are more accepting of mobile devices being used for educational purposes across all age groups believing it will equal an educational advantage compared to previous generations.

9. Children are most likely to use their mobile devices when they’re at home instead of at school, on the go or when hanging with friends.

10. 57% of 12 to 15 year olds use their mobile devices more than they watch TV.

Top Five Facts about Online Safety for our Children
1. The biggest concern for parents surveyed about their children using mobile devices was their access to inappropriate content followed closely by health-related issues.

2. On average, 44% of parents use free versions of antivirus and security software compared to the 25% who use the paid versions.

3. On average, 10% of parents surveyed don’t use any form of mobile security for their children.

4. Majority of parents surveyed talk to their children about online safety when they’re between eight and 15 years old.

5. 67% of parents surveyed are confident their children understand the importance of online safety.


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