kids and tabletsThe answer, according to a new survey, is 10.6 years.

According to the Trend Micro Australian Children & Mobile Device Survey, 63% of children aged between  8 and 11 and 73% of children aged between 12 and 15 either have their own mobile device or use their parent’s mobile devices.

It will come as no surprise that the survey discovered that mobile device exposure and ownership can start much younger. Close to half of 3 – 7 year olds use their parents’ devices and a third of 8 – 11 year olds own their own device.

Earlier this week I spoke to Tim Falinski from Trend Micro Australia about other findings from the survey plus the competition currently being run for kids at – listen below.

Top Ten Facts about how Australian Children are using Mobile Devices*

  1. On average, Australian parents believe the most appropriate age for children to start using mobile devices is 10 years old however nearly half begin using mobiles devices at age three and own their own device by the time they’re eight years old.
  2. Two out of three 12 to 15 year olds own their own mobile device to use for games, education and social media.
  3. 66% of three to seven year olds use tablets and 40% of 12 to 15 year olds prefer to use smartphones as their mobile devices of choice.
  4. Majority of children between 8 and 15 years old are using their mobile devices between 1-3 hours per day.
  5. Games and mobile apps are the main reason children between 3 and 11 are using mobile devices.
  6. 23% of kids aged 12-15 are more likely to use their mobile devices for social media, with 32% using them for games and mobile apps.
  7. 70% of parents are more accepting of mobile devices being used for educational purposes than ever before, believing it will equal an educational advantage compared to past generations.
  8. Parents find using mobile devices for educational benefits allows their children to stay up to date with the most accurate information with 7 out of 10 parents saying they use mobile devices for education.
  9. Children are most likely to use their mobile devices when they’re at home instead of at school, on the go or when hanging with friends.
  10. Younger children are more likely to spend time watching television where 58% of 12 to 15 year olds will use their mobile devices instead of watching TV.

Top Five Facts about Online Safety for our Children*

  1. The biggest concern for parents surveyed about their children using mobile devices was their access to inappropriate content followed closely by health-related issues.
  2. 3 out of 5 parents say their child/children use passwords and antivirus or security software as protection on their mobile devices
  3. On average, 11% of parents surveyed don’t use any form of mobile security for their children.
  4. Majority of parents surveyed talk to their children about online safety when they’re between eight and 15 years old.
  5. 68% of parents surveyed are confident their children understand the importance of online safety.*Provided by Trend Micro Australia.