Children as young as eight giving out their personal details to people they meet online
Aug 27, 2019
- Children shared their mobile number and home address with people they met online
- Less than two thirds of parents check who their children are talking to on social media
- O2 and NSPCC relaunch their Net Aware site to help parents better understand the apps, sites and games their children are using
Almost a third (29%) of children aged eight to 13 have given out personal details to people they’ve 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 8% showing their phone number. Some even revealed their home address. Seemingly innocent details such as pets’ names (25%) and the school they attend (24%) were the most frequently revealed.
It was also found that, from a list of 36 apps, children were most likely to say they used YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Roblox regularly. But just 37% of children feel their parents understand YouTube, with that figure dropping below 10% 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.
The survey results also showed that parents are more likely to talk to their children about safety in the real world versus the online world.
While 82% of parents speak to their kids about wearing a seatbelt, and 81% tell children about the importance of saying no when they are asked to do something they’re uncomfortable with in the real world, less than two thirds (65%) of parents check who their kids talk to online.
Both O2 and the NSPCC recognise that keeping children safe online can feel overwhelming for parents. Net Aware takes away the fear factor and encourages parents to have regular conversations with their children about their online lives.
When it comes to devices, parents are strictest about phones (40%), followed by tablets and videogame consoles. Just 8% of children felt their parents were strictest about them using a laptop.
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