Dennis the Menace gets first mobile phone in new comic strip – to highlight online dangers

Dennis the Menace features in EE PhoneSmart promo

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Prank calls, uploading a video of his cousin Minnie the Minx without her consent, and downloading age-inappropriate apps are among his antics.

But it emerges he may not be clued up on the online dangers he could face.

The special edition of the comic – a collaboration between the Beano and EE – has been launched after a poll of 1,000 parents, with children aged eight to 16, found six in ten fear their kids don’t know how to protect themselves from online dangers.

Sharing their location with strangers, being cyber-bullied, and inadvertently sharing personal details that could lead to fraud, are all things parents think their children might do without realising the consequences.

And while nearly half (46 percent) of mums and dads try to educate their offspring as much as possible, a quarter are either unsure or definitely don’t know enough about online safety either.

Just 35 percent of parents check their child’s phone on a weekly basis to ensure they are being safe online.

But over half (57 percent) admitted they avoid looking at their child’s social media profiles, because they’re worried about what they’re getting up to.

On top of this, 38 percent of parents whose children have a phone think their child knows more about using the tech than they do.

Parental controls (46 percent), two-factor authentication (37 percent), and antivirus software (28 percent) are all security measures some parents are putting in place to try and protect their children online.

Parents believe a third (32 percent) of their child’s life is conducted online – and 66 percent think online safety should be a more prominent part of the school curriculum.

Of those who took part in the survey by OnePoll, more than half (52 percent) don’t think they would be able to survive the online world as a child of today.

To address this, EE have created the “PhoneSmart Licence” – an online course educating children from all mobile network providers on how to stay safe and be kind online.

It was created in partnership with experts from Internet Matters, with the aim of giving parents “additional peace of mind as their children enter the online world.”

Mat Sears, director of corporate affairs, Consumer Division, said: “As a lifelong Beano fan, it’s a real joy to see characters I’ve loved grapple with the same challenges every parent faces when their kids explore the online world.

“From learning who to trust online, through to which apps and games are safer to use – our comic strips provide parents and kids alike with a fun and engaging way to learn how to safely use their phones.”

THINGS PARENTS WORRY THEIR CHILD MIGHT DO ONLINE THAT COULD PUT THEM IN DANGER:

  1. Sharing their location
  2. Being cyber-bullied
  3. Inadvertently sharing personal details that could lead to fraud
  4. Downloading apps or games inappropriate for their age
  5. Sharing their address
  6. Sharing bank details
  7. Staying up too late browsing
  8. Getting “doxxed” – having their address revealed widely online
  9. Spending a fortune on an online game
  10. Being unkind to someone online

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