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Kids turning to cellphone for Internet; it's tough on parent oversight

The number of teens and tweens accessing the Internet via cellphone is growing, a new survey says, posing bigger problems for parents who like to keep tabs on their kid's Internet activities. 

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Peter Conkey, 6, plays on his iPod Touch in his Illinois home March 11. A new Pew report indicates that Peter's generation will be even more likely to use mobile devices, including smartphones, as their main means of accessing the Internet.

Associated Press

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Keep computers in a common area so you can monitor what your kids are doing. It's a longstanding directive for online safety – but one that's quickly becoming moot as more young people have mobile devices, often with Internet access.

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that 78 percent of young people, ages 12 to 17, now have cellphones. Nearly half of those are smartphones, a share that's increasing steadily – and that's having a big effect on how, and where, many young people are accessing the Web.

 

The survey, released Wednesday, finds that one in four young people say they are "cell-mostly" Internet users, a percentage that increases to about half when the phone is a smartphone.

In comparison, just 15 percent of adults said they access the Internet mostly by cellphone.

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