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Study: Parents not being strict online.

Byline: Report by Dayna Farrington

ALMOST a third of children aged between eight and 13 years old have given out personal details to people they have met online, according to new research.

The survey of 2,000 children, commissioned by O2, also revealed their social media profiles contained potentially sensitive information - with almost a quarter displaying their email address and eight per cent showing their phone number.

In the West Midlands, 28 per cent of children aged eight to 13 have given out their personal details to people they have met online.

It was also found that, from a list of 36 apps, children were most likely to say they used You-Tube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Roblox regularly.

And just 37 per cent of children feel their parents understand YouTube - with the figure dropping below 10 per cent for Snapchat and Roblox. The news comes as O2 and the NSPCC relaunch Net Aware, a website designed for parents to learn more about the latest apps, sites and games their children are using, along with technical and safeguarding tips.

Importance The survey results also showed parents are more likely to talk to their children about safety in the real world versus the online world.

While 82 per cent of parents speak to their kids about wearing a seatbelt, and 81 per cent tell children about the importance of saying no when they are asked to do something they are uncomfortable with in the real world - less than two thirds, or 65 per cent, of parents check who their kids talk to online.

When it comes to devices, parents are strictest about phones - 40 per cent - followed by tablets and videogame consoles. Just eight per cent of children felt their parents were strictest about them using a laptop.

Laura Randall, NSPCC associate head of child safety online, said: "It is vital parents think of the online world in the same way as the real world. They wouldn't send their child on a school trip without checking where they are going and who they are going with.

"The same level of scrutiny should apply to any app or game their child is using. That's why we continue to work with O2 to provide the latest information for parents about the most popular apps, sites and games their children are using - all at their fingertips on one website."

Ann Pickering, chief of staff at O2, added: "We launched the Net Aware website with the NSPCC so that parents can learn about the latest social networks, sites and games."

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Publication:Shropshire Star (Shropshire, England)
Date:Aug 28, 2019
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