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News & Blog

Keeping children safe online

As featured in today’s Metro newspaper, the NSPCC's head of online child safety, Andy Burrows, has said legislation was needed to keep children safe online. Under their new proposals, the NSPCC has clearly said that social media companies have a "duty of care” to keep children safe online.

Those companies who do not meet this duty of care could then be prosecuted and face criminal investigations and unlimited fines, if this proposed legislation is accepted into law. Furthermore, companies will have to appoint named executives to be personally responsible for upholding this duty of care. This is a step forward in introducing measures to protect children from harm such as sexual abuse, bullying and self-harm. Last week, Instagram announced it would ban graphic images of self-harm from its platform.

 

As a technology company, Active Digital has a duty of care to explain to customers how to access support for child safety online and where to find information. 

 

First and foremost, let’s look at the numbers *: -

90% of children aged 5-15 are online

40% of 5-15 year olds have their own tablet (15% are 3-4 year olds)

76% of 12-15 year olds have a social networking profile (23% are 8-11 year olds)

 

What’s also concerning is that findings of an NSPCC study show that 78% of children surveyed have accessed social media sites before reaching the minimum age of 13 and 50% of children reported seeing inappropriate content while using popular sites.


The NSPCC, together with O2, want to help educate parents, so we can talk to children regularly about being safe online. If you want to find out more about the most popular social networks, sites and apps children are seeing, you can visit ‘Net Aware’ – the O2 and NSPCC’s guide for parents. It has some useful information, including how to remove content on different apps and sites, block people and report abuse.

 

If you also need support setting up parental controls, you can visit www.internetmatters.org. This will help you set filters on search engines or use the website’s privacy settings to prevent children seeing unsuitable content.

 

If you need more help, please click the link below or call 0808 800 5002. The helpline offers advice on having a conversation with children about online safety. 

 

For more information, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety

 

*Ofcom (2015). Children and Parents

Posted on 13 February 2019