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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. 


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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