Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams is lending his support to the NSPCC’s new ‘Share Aware’ campaign which aims to get families talking about socialising safely online.
The NSPCC has created a new online guide to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children.
This comes after an NSPCC survey revealed that three quarters of parents surveyed 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.
An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet reviewed 48 social networking 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 information.¹
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.
The NSPCC also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social networking sites they used.² 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.
Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “Children are taught from an early age that it is good to share but doing so online can be very dangerous. We must all be Share Aware. This Christmas many children will have been given a smart phone, a tablet computer, or a games console. So it’s the perfect opportunity for parents to have that important conversation with their children about who they are talking to and what they share when they socialise online.”
Commenting Mark Williams said: “I know that parents are increasingly concerned about their children’s safety online but they often don’t know where to start. This is why I’m supporting the NSPCC’s campaign and urging all families to talk about being ‘Share Aware’ on the internet. I hope parents will use the NSPCC’s no-nonsense guides to untangle the web, understand what their children may be doing online, and feel confident talking to them about how to stay safe.”
People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign at www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware and join the debate on social media by following #ShareAware.
Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com
Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk