The study, conducted among 2,200 UK parents, reveals that one in six (16%) 4-6 year-olds are spending up to six hours online each day, clocking up a massive 2,190 hours every year. The figure is three times higher than the UK average of 2 hours a day, for children aged 4-16.
However, with a new wave of internet-enabled toys – dubbed ‘Connected Cuddlies’ – topping kids’ wish lists this Christmas, this figure could significantly increase with the amount of additional screen time such ‘soft toys’ will add to their day.
The stats also show that two-thirds (66%) of kids already own one or two smart devices by the time they are six years old – a number that ignores the connected toy category completely.
The findings suggest that parents, too, are unaware of the online implications of connected toys like ‘Hello Barbie’, ‘My Friend Freddy’ and ‘Furby Boom’. With toy sales this Black Friday weekend likely to follow the trend set in 2014, exceeding those of the week prior to Christmas, parents need to be increasingly savvy about the type of toy – and subsequent connected commitments – they’re buying their child this holiday season.
Tony Anscombe, an online security expert at AVG Technologies, explains: “With key functionalities of these toys dependant on features such as WiFi connectivity, voice recognition and data collection within apps, parents must understand that the toy they are handing their child is a connected device. As with any connected device, it comes with security and privacy considerations – knowing what data is being collected, where it’s being held and how it can be protected is paramount.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping culture, being persuaded to purchase by enticing online offers, or even pressure from our own children. However, as parents we must be conscious that the deals we strike online don’t prevent us from keeping our kids safe online – whether they’re ‘logging on’ with a tablet or teddy.”
Further findings from the research and advice for parents on how to help their children remain safe online this Christmas no matter what gift they get, along with blogs from Anscombe, can be found at http://now.avg.com/.
About the Research / Methodology:
AVG commissioned an online survey, interviewing 2,200 UK adult parents (aged 18-65) with one or more children aged 4-16 years old. The market research company, Vanson Bourne, carried out the fieldwork between 4-12 June 2015 using their propriety panels.
About AVG Technologies:
AVG is the online security company providing leading software and services to secure devices, data and people. AVG’s award-winning technology is delivered to over 200 million monthly active users worldwide.
AVG’s Consumer portfolio includes Internet security, performance optimization, and personal privacy and identity protection for mobile devices and desktops. The AVG Business portfolio - delivered by managed service providers, VARs and resellers - offers IT administration, control and reporting, integrated security, and mobile device management that simplify and protect businesses.
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