Tuesday, 07 February 2017 11:16

WARNING TO PARENTS Nearly half of six-year-olds are browsing the internet ALONE in their rooms, shocking research reveals

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Youngsters are using social media and streaming content without supervision

NEARLY half of six-year-olds surf the web alone in their bedrooms, shock research shows.

The youngsters are now as internet savvy as ten-year-olds were in 2013.

Forty-four per cent are browsing the internet, on social media and streaming without adult supervision.

A study for Internet Matters to mark Thursday’s Safer Internet Day found a third of six-year-olds also use WhatsApp — despite its minimum age limit of 16.

A quarter are now on social media, up from 19 per cent in 2013, and three in five use sites such as YouTube.

A quarter of six-year-olds are on social media

A quarter of six-year-olds are on social media

Six year olds are using Facebook and Whatsapp despite the 16 age limit
ALAMY

Six year olds are using Facebook and Whatsapp despite the 16 age limit

Some even upload their own videos, according to the survey of 1,500 parents.

Almost half of six-year-olds can download apps and 47 per cent regularly use services such as iPlayer and Netflix.

Carolyn Bunting, of Internet Matters, said: “It’s vital for parents to set up devices safely and understand risks involved.”

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos added: “Parents need to set boundaries and arm children with the tools to stay safe online.

Parents need to set boundaries with their kids’ internet use
ALAMY

Parents need to set boundaries with their kids’ internet use

“Issues that a six-year-old may encounter can range from stranger danger to viewing inappropriate content such as violence or pornography.

“It’s vital you have parental controls in place and to ensure the websites and apps they are using are suitable for their age group.”

Internet safety checklist for young children

  • Agree boundaries
    Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share.
  • Explore together
    The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit.
  • Put yourself in control
    Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices.
  • Use airplane mode
    Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.
  • Stay involved
    Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on them.
  • Talk to siblings
    It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children.
  • Search safely
    Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.
  • Check if it’s suitable
    The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child.

Author : JEN PHARO

Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2802345/nearly-half-of-six-year-olds-are-browsing-the-internet-alone-in-their-rooms-shocking-research-reveals/

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