Keeping our kids safe online
As parents, it can be difficult to keep up with the many different websites, apps and games our tech-savvy children know so well. The internet helps us find information for homework and so much more fantastic stuff. Most children even do part of their mathematics homework online. So, the question is, how can parents actively participate in helping their children to stay safe online? 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 quite worrying 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.
NSPCC spoke about how, together with O2, they want to help educate parents, so we can talk to our 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 now visit Net Aware – the O2 and NSPCC’s guide for parents. It has some really 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.
I hope this information helps support you in learning how to protect your children online and if you need more help, please visit the websites mentioned in this blog or call this helpline - 0808 800 5002. The helpline offers advice on having a conversation with children about online safety.
Alternatively, you can pop into an O2 store and chat to an O2 Guru.
For more information, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety
*Ofcom (2015). Children and Parents