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COMDSG: How Parents can support Children's Online Safety

Parental awareness

  •  Among those children who have experienced one of these risks, parents often don’t realise this.

  •  40% of parents whose child has seen sexual images online say that their child has not seen them; 56% of parents whose child has received nasty or hurtful messages online say that their child has not.

  •  52% of parents whose child has received sexual messages say that their child has not; 61% of parents whose child has met offline with an online contact say that their child has not.

    Although the incidence of these risks affects a minority of children in each case, the level of parental underestimation is more substantial.

    Parental mediation

  •  Most parents talk to their children about what they do on the internet (70%) and stay nearby when the child is online (58%). But one in eight parents (13%) seem never to do any of the forms of mediation asked about, according to their children.

  •  Over half of parents also take over positive steps such as suggesting how to behave towards others online (56%) and talking about things that might bother the child (52%), and a third have helped their child when something arose in the past (36%).

  •  Parents also restrict children’s disclosure of personal information (85%), uploading (63%) and downloading (57%).

  • parental mediation (e.g. in Turkey, Ireland and Bulgaria) than in others (e.g. Hungary, and the Netherlands). 15% would like their parents to do a little or a lot more and 12% would like their parents to do rather less.

    Many parents (73%) are confident that it is not very or at all likely that their child will encounter anything that bothers them in the next six months. 

  •  One in two parents monitors their child’s internet use (after use), making this the least favoured strategy by comparison with positive support, safety guidance or making rules about internet use.

  •  The use of technical safety tools is relatively low: just over a quarter of parents blocks or filters websites (28%) and/or tracks the websites visited by their child (24%).

  •  Both children and parents consider parental mediation helpful, especially 9-12 year olds.

  •  Most parents (85%) are confident about their role, feeling that they can help their child if the latter encounters something that bothers them online. Parents are also confident in their child’s ability to cope with things online that may bother them (79%), and 15% claim that they mediate differently because of something that had bothered the child in the past.

  •  Two thirds of children (68%) think their parents know a lot or quite a bit about their children’s internet use. However, 29% say they ignore their parents a little and 8% of children say they ignore their parents a lot.

  •  Less than half (44%) of children think that parental mediation limits what they do online, 11% saying it limits their activities a lot. Children in some countries feel rather more restricted by

Denz Jovelle is an adventure-seeker Filipino from Manila but currently residing in London, United Kingdom. She is obsessed with Fashion, Beauty and Travel, a passion embedded from her appreciation for art and technology. Welcome to her Digital Diary where you can see all her life experiences in this idyllic world.

London, United Kingdom