Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, gave her support to the NSPCC’s new ‘Share Aware’ campaign earlier this year, 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.
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. 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.
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.
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