1 in 3 UK kids have been exposed to online dangers


New research launched at the annual Child Internet Safety Summit has revealed the extent of children’s exposure to inappropriate content online, and the conflicting views of their parents.

It shows that more than a third (35%) of UK children have encountered dangers online while at home – a figure that rises to 40% among tech-savvy ‘tweens’. Despite this reality, a quarter (24%) of all parents have no plans to educate their children about online risks – and this is particularly the case for those with older children, rising to one in four (39%) parents with 10-12 year olds, and two thirds (62%) of parents with 13-16 year olds.

When asked why, two in five (44%) parents believe their child is sensible enough to know what to avoid online, 22% think it will just be too awkward to discuss, and one in seven (14%) simply don’t think it’s necessary.

The study by AVG Technologies also sheds light on where parents see their child’s digital habits being influenced. The vast majority (88%) say school friends and teachers play the biggest combined role, while over a quarter (26%) say friends from outside of school are also key influencers.

With 40% of parents most concerned for their child’s online safety when they are away from home, these findings highlight how they could be overlooking the online dangers within the home. While parents are rightly conscious of letting their children surf the web outside of the family environment, the findings suggest they may be too quick to shift the blame, for children encountering dangers online, onto these outside influencers, rather than shoulder it themselves.

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