AUSTRALIAN kids as young as seven are accessing adult apps like Tinder, according to research carried out by parental control software maker Family Zone.
Family Zone’s study showed 56 per cent of Australian parents have no online parental controls in place, and 76 per cent have no idea if their children had accessed pornography or violent clips online.
In the first weeks of launching their new software, Family Zone discovered kids were not only stumbling across adult content accidentally, but actively seeking it out.
Parents are often unaware that inappropriate content can be found on apps that were not designed with that purpose in mind – like Instagram and YouTube.
Jordan Foster, a psychologist who works with Family Zone as one of their cyber experts, said the amount of information online was troubling.
“It’s unbelievably concerning, when you really know exactly what kind of information is online,” Ms Foster said.
“In the real world, you wouldn’t let your kids walk into a strip club or an adult store.
“Parents are actively making sure there children are protected in the real world, but the things in the online world can be far, far worse.”
Family Zone is a cloud-based app that can be programmed to block certain apps and sites that cyber experts deem inappropriate for certain age groups.
“The unique thing about Family Zone is that they’ve partnered with a bunch of cyber experts,” Ms Foster said.
“Essentially what we do is help them develop their product.
“Parents can sign up and get information directly from me about what’s going on in terms of social media technology, what they need to know about.
“I can make pre-sets as to what I think a 10-year-old should and shouldn’t have.
“We’re immersed in social media culture and we also do app reviews for Family Zone.”
And Ms Foster said Tinder should definitely be blacklisted by parents.
“I have blocked Tinder for anyone under the age of 18, because it’s a dating app and it’s very dangerous,” she said.
“If a child has a phone, and they’ve got Family Zone installed, they can download Tinder but when they try and load it it doesn’t load.”