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ParentShield Maintains Protection Amid WhatsApp Age Limit Controversy

Amidst the ongoing concern surrounding WhatsApp’s decision to lower its minimum age limit, ParentShield, the child-safe mobile network, reaffirms its dedication to prioritising the safety and wellbeing of young mobile phone users. ParentShield remains committed to taking proactive measures to safeguard children from installing age-restricted chat applications without their parents knowledge or permission.

Parents worry as WhatsApp reduces minimum age to just 13

The move by WhatsApp to lower the minimum age limit from 16 to 13, came into force on Thursday, and the change has ignited widespread concern among parents and campaigners, who fear that young users may lack the necessary skills to navigate potential hazards. ParentShield acknowledges these concerns and underscores the importance of providing parents with the tools and information needed to make informed decisions about their children’s activities.

Recent investigations have uncovered troubling instances of children as young as nine being added to malicious groups on WhatsApp, where they encounter harmful content such as self-harm, sexual violence, and racism. ParentShield recognises the gravity of these findings and emphasises the need for increased emphasis on protecting children.

Campaign group Smartphone Free Childhood said “Today WhatsApp completed their rollout of their new, lower age restrictions, which enables them to monetise younger users.  This flies in the face of the growing national demand for big tech to do more to protect our children. Officially allowing anyone over the age of 12 to use their platform (the minimum age was 16 before today) sends a message that it’s safe for children. But teachers, parents and experts tell a very different story. As a community we’re fed up with the tech giants putting their shareholder profits before protecting our children.”

ParentShield continues to block WhatsApp setup SMS messages from reaching children’s phones and redirecting them to their parents online portal, even for users 13+. The ParentShield system also notifies the parents instantly, providing them with the knowledge and opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with their children about the risks associated with these applications, whether it’s appropriate, and intervene where necessary. If they wish to allow it, they can.

This process allows ParentShield to mitigate the potential dangers posed by accessing platforms, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and TikTok for their child.

As concerns over WhatsApp’s age limit change continue to unfold, ParentShield remains committed to warning parents of the attempted activation of these applications and providing parents with the tools and resources they need.

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