Young people need internet safety guidanceChildren need advice to protect themselves online

03 September 2009

children safety online

Teach your kids to make the right internet safety choices

Teenagers need advice about how to keep their personal information safe online, according to a report from Ofcom.

Fifty-four per cent of 11 to 16 year olds need advice about how to keep their personal information online private, the report says.

Find out what banks are doing to protect your accounts online 

Specifically, children want more information on how to keep (28%), to avoid inappropriate online content (22%) and how to deal with cyberbullying (20%).

However, 23% of children claim no one has talked to them about how to stay safe online.

A spokesperson from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) told us: 'Online environments, however they are accessed, provide children and young people with a whole range of fantastic social and educational opportunities. But the safeguards we put in place to ensure their safety are critical and need be no different to the other life skills we teach children such as crossing the road, wearing a seatbelt when in the car or learning to swim.'

Helping to keep children safe online

While 79% of parents and carers said they know enough about how to help their child stay safe online. However, one in ten said they need additional help and support.

The areas most frequently mentioned by parents were better support with filters and controls set by games suppliers and internet service providers, and more information on how to set online controls and blocks.

'While parents need to understand how children and young people are using the internet and other mobile devices, advice and guidance is almost the same as the advice you would give in the real world. Know who your children are talking to, where they are going, what they are doing, for example. There is, after all, no substitute for sitting down with your children and talking to them about their life online,' said CEOP. 

Mobile phones

Almost a quarter of children said they wouldn’t know what to do if they encountered inappropriate material on their mobile phone. Just over 10% of children are using their phones to go online. Of these, the majority (80%) are downloading music while 45% are visiting social networking sites.

Games consoles

More children (16%) are going online using games consoles. There is also a greater awareness of access controls among parents and carers (32% are aware) and 67% of parents say they have activated these controls.

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