Fifth of Primary School Children Admit Meeting Cyber Strangers

IT’S GET SAFE ONLINE WEEK!

A few weeks ago, we had a posting of internet safety for our children. Here are some very recent shocking findings on primary school age pupils and the internet.

According to a report in a survey of 1,162 pupils aged nine to eleven across 15 primary schools in South East London, Kent, and Guernsey,

18%- admitted to meeting up with strangers they had only spoken to online. Half of these children did so without taking anyone with them.

18% reported feeling uncomfortable or upset when chatting with an online contact they have never met in real life.

The report highlights the fact that these can be part explained by 15 per cent of respondents saying their parents never check their online activities, with over a third accessing the Internet from their bedrooms. Over 30 per cent of respondents said they have never received any information on how to safely use the Internet.

42% of respondents admit to using a web cam when online, and 6 per cent have posted a picture of themselves online or sent a picture to someone by text message that they would not want their family to see.

43% of respondents use the Internet every day, and one in five use (or have used) the internet after 10pm and an additional 7 per cent have used it after midnight. Almost one in eight state they have been late to school after using their computer late at night, with 3 per cent having missed a day of school.

Tim Wilson, an information security professional, school governor, and member of the Safe and Secure Online programme run by the (ISC) 2 Foundation, who carried out the research, stated that

Young children seem to approach the real world and the virtual world very differently, and as a result, their perception of safety is skewed when spending time online

ADVICE TO PARENTS

  • There is a strong call to action to ensure they are engaged in how their children use the Internet.
  • Bringing the family computer into the living room and having open conversations about potential online dangers will help them play a more active role in the relationships children are increasingly starting online.
  • Parents should ensure their child is comfortable enough to discuss seeing something they shouldn’t online.

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