Seven out of ten kids think the internet is not a safe place –– yet continues to put themselves at risk

Seven out of ten kids think the internet is unsafe –– yet continues to put themselves at risk

The internet is just like other things, if not in moderation is also very harmful. In fact, seven out of ten children think that the internet is not a safe place.

However, despite that knowledge, these kids still continuously put themselves in potentially harmful online situations, according to research.

Youngsters, aged from eight to 13, have shared personal details and posted photos of things they own on group chats. And out of the participants, 60% of them have agreed that they need to be careful while using social media.

And four out of ten or 37% said that they play games where they connect with people they don’t even know.

Another one in three or 32% confessed to watching content they know might not be appropriate for their age. Furthermore, three in ten kids use the same password for all their accounts on the internet –– with 22% sharing logins with friends.

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The said research was carried out by EE, the one which created the PhoneSmart Licence –– a free online program that offers young people the tools, features, and confidence to stay safe and kind online.

Seven out of ten kids think the internet is unsafe –– yet continues to put themselves at risk
Seven out of ten kids think the internet is unsafe –– yet continues to put themselves at risk

“With internet use more popular than ever, it’s no surprise that children who have grown up in a world of technology are oblivious to the potential dangers that come with it,” says Mat Sears, corporate affairs and communications director of BT and EE.

“There needs to be more out there for children around online safety because parents don’t necessarily have all the tools or knowledge to teach children themselves. If your children understand the dangers of being online, then that is the first step towards ensuring they have a healthy and safe relationship with both you and their online activity.

“Created in collaboration with experts from Internet Matters, the PhoneSmart license teaches kids about key components of phone safety across four modules – online hate, digital wellbeing, staying safe online, and digital and media literacy,” Sears added.

Moreso, more than half of the 300 parents polled, with kids aged eight to 13, said they are aware their children have accounts with social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

However, one in ten were not aware that these sites have age limits, and that it might be illegal for their children to use these sites.

The research found that 43% make that conscious effort to monitor their kids’ online activities –– from online gaming platforms, social media, to mobile phone usage.

Almost two-thirds or 64% said that they take measures to protect their child from the potential online dangers.

Read: Smartphones and the Internet destroy people’s well-being, a study reveals

Talking and educating their children about the dangers, restricting their use of sites, online games, social media, and implementing security blockers, were still the top things parents do to protect their children.

Based on the research, almost half (46%) of children think the internet is a safe place because it has never hurt them in any way or anyone they know.

Even though the internet is now second nature to us and how we live our everyday lives, there is still a great need for resources such as PhoneSmart to educate and engage young people so they are prepared to navigate the risks they might face in the digital world,

says Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters.

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