John Lewis has partnered with Internet Matters to offer specialised advice to families regarding internet safety.

Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation that offers child internet safety advice to parents, carers and professionals.

In a statement, the company said that this initiative marks the first time a department store in the UK has taken such an approach.

The agreement with Internet Matters will involve training John Lewis Partners across all 34 of its shops to become experts in family technology.

These specially trained Partners will assist parents and caregivers in ensuring the safe and secure setup and use of electronic devices. With September being a popular time for purchasing new tech items ahead of the new school term, the Partners will be ready to provide guidance and support to customers during this period.

Equipped with comprehensive knowledge and tools, the specialist Partners will be able to offer in-person advice on various aspects related to connected tech.

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This includes setting up devices securely, promoting healthy gaming habits, managing screen time, fostering a positive digital footprint and utilising technology for digital well-being.

Safety a major concern to customers, survey finds

To better understand the concerns and preferences of parents, John Lewis conducted a survey involving 1,000 participants.

The results revealed that although parents expected to purchase their child’s first phone at the age of twelve, the reality was quite different. In fact, 12% of parents were providing their children with mobile phones as early as the age of eight. The primary reasons cited for this were communication purposes (65%), safety (58%) and fostering friendships (38%).

The survey findings also underscored the significance of internet safety, with 67% of parents expressing it as their biggest concern when their child uses an electronic device. Furthermore, 58% of parents expressed a desire to learn more about safety features on their child’s electronic devices.

John Lewis customer director Charlotte Lock emphasised the importance of internet safety to their customers with children. The company aims “to help customers navigate their child’s digital journey safely and confidently by equipping their Partners with specialised knowledge and skills.”