Our new campaign helps parents talk to their children about staying safe on social networks
Keeping children safe online is a great concern for parents. That's why we've launched Share Aware - to provide straightforward, no-nonsense advice for parents of 8 to 12-year-old children1. Working with parents on this campaign revealed the types of concerns they have.
An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet reviewed 48 of these sites and said all those aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to. On more than 40 per cent of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety information2. At least three quarters of parents surveyed by us found sexual, violent, or other inappropriate content on Sickipedia, Omegle, Deviant Art, and F my Life within half an hour of logging into the sites.
Those aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Popjam and Bearville, fared better and parents did not find any unsuitable content on them.
We also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social networking sites they used3. Talking to strangers or sexual content were the main concerns mentioned by children. But they also thought the minimum age limit for signing up to many sites should be higher, despite saying they'd used the sites when they were underage.