Smith Micro Survey Finds that Parents Rely on a Myriad of Technology to Protect their Kids Online


Smith Micro Survey Finds that Parents Rely on a Myriad of Technology to Protect their Kids Online

September 29, 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA, September 29, 2021 – Nearly nine in 10 American parents use digital parenting technology to manage their children’s internet activity and to ensure their online safety according to a recent consumer survey* commissioned by Smith Micro Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMSI). Underscoring the importance to parents of keeping their kids safe online, 86% of the parents surveyed said they have regular talks with their kids about online safety.

“Ensuring the online safety and the digital wellbeing of their children is top of mind for today’s parents,” said William W. Smith, Jr., President and CEO of Smith Micro.

When asked what is most worrisome when it comes to their child’s wellbeing, parents cited online safety in nearly the same proportion (30%) as they did physical safety (31%). Other options parents selected in order of frequency include excessive screen time (20%), digital wellbeing (8%), data privacy (5%), and identity theft (2%).

The survey found that on average parents allow their children 4.3 hours of entertainment-related screen time every day, with 25% of parents admitting that their child logs six or more hours of screen time per day. Nearly eight in 10 (78%) parents agreed that they now allow their child to have more entertainment-related screen time because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while an even higher proportion (88%) agreed that it’s their responsibility to monitor and control their child’s online activity.

“While every parent wants to ensure their children’s online safety, they don’t have the desire or time to supervise every digital activity,” Smith said. “Digital parenting technology helps parents balance the demands of parenting in 2021 with everyday life. As a white-label family safety solution, our SafePath® platform empowers our wireless carrier partners to provide in-demand family digital lifestyle solutions to their subscribers.”

When asked to identify their top digital parenting concern, nearly one quarter (24%) of parents surveyed selected “exposure to inappropriate online content,” while one in five parents (20%) cited “harmful user-generated content on social media” as most concerning. Other leading digital concerns selected by parents include:

  • Internet addiction caused by excessive screen time (16%)
  • Lasting emotional distress/trauma caused by negative online experiences (10%)
  • Texting with strangers or individuals not known by parents (9%)
  • Cyberbullying (8%)

A research brief containing additional key survey findings as well as demographic splits based on age, gender, and U.S. region is available for download here.

* The survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Smith Micro Software, Inc. Smith Micro commissioned the survey to learn more about the approaches, tools, and technology parents use to ensure the online safety of their school-age children and manage their digital activities. See below for the methodology.

Survey Methodology
This random double-opt-in survey was conducted by OnePoll – a market research company and corporate member of both the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) – and adheres to the Marketing Research Society (MRS) code of conduct. The survey was conducted online within the United States from August 9 – 16, 2021. The sample consisted of 2,000 American parents of school-age children (ages 5 – 18). For more information about OnePoll’s research in the media, navigate to their portfolio here.

About SafePath®

Comprised of SafePath Family, SafePath IoT, and SafePath Home, the SafePath product suite provides comprehensive and easy-to-use tools to protect digital lifestyles and manage connected devices. As a carrier-grade, white-label solution, SafePath empowers wireless service providers and cable operators to bring to market full-featured, on-brand family safety solutions that provide in-demand services such as location tracking, parental controls, and driver monitoring to mobile subscribers. Delivered to end users as value-added services, SafePath-based solutions activate new revenue opportunities for service providers while helping to increase brand affinity and reduce subscriber churn. Learn more at

About Smith Micro Software, Inc.

Smith Micro develops software to simplify and enhance the mobile experience, providing solutions to some of the leading wireless service providers and cable MSOs around the world. From enabling the family digital lifestyle to providing powerful voice messaging capabilities, our solutions enrich today’s connected lifestyles while creating new opportunities to engage consumers via smartphones and consumer IoT devices. The Smith Micro portfolio also includes a wide range of products for creating, sharing, and monetizing rich content, such as visual voice messaging, optimizing retail content display and performing analytics on any product set. For more information, visit

Smith Micro and the Smith Micro logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Smith Micro Software, Inc. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements regarding future events or results, including statements related to the benefits that we expect our products and services will offer to our customers and their end users and other statements using such words as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “intend,” “could,” “will” and other similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.  Among the important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences are changes resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including changes in consumer behavior, changes in customer or platform requirements and limitations on our ability to compete effectively with other software and technology companies. These and other factors discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are made on the basis of the views and assumptions of management, and we do not undertake any obligation to update these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.