As a mum to 4 children, I'm extremely concerned about what can and does happen on online, from bullying to stumbling on adult content, all this potential harm is too easily accessed by children.
It is my responsibility to educate and monitor my children's activities online, to make sure they are safe and kept away from any harm. However,
I also strongly feel that companies, have just as much responsibility to make sure their platforms are safe and secure for children to use. I also know that this is not always done and more can be done and should be done.
Children are now using technology such as tablets and mobile phones from a young age. As part of ongoing research into the impact of social media and technology on our lives, online voucher code website www.myvouchercodes.co.uk has spoken to parents to find out their concerns over children using technology as part of their everyday lives.
The voucher code website wanted to find out how concerned parents were about the technology in their children’s lives and determine how worried they were about parenting issues which could arise. My Voucher Codes asked: “How would you rate the following parenting issues related to technology?” Rated from
Not at all Worried, to Concerned, to Extremely Worried
Online bullying – 58% Extremely Worried
Accessing adult content such as porn, swearing, nudity, sex and violence – 49% Extremely Worried
Sharing inappropriate images – 49% Extremely Worried
Grooming – 48% Concerned
Access to extremism – 44% Concerned
Addiction to social media – 57% Concerned
Effects on Education – 66% Concerned
Privacy – 55% Concerned
Effect on long term health – 49% Concerned
Running up huge bills. – 65% Not at all Worried
The effect of technology and social media on education was the main concern for the majority of parents along with addiction to social media and privacy. However most parents were not worried about their children running up huge bills on their smartphones or tablets.
My Voucher Codes also asked parents what they are doing to protect their children from the above issues. Many parents would look to block access via router to stop their children accessing adult content. Parents also relied upon a certain level of trust that their children could speak to them about online bullying and grooming with parents stating that they would talk to their children about the dangers of sharing inappropriate images. But also monitoring what their children are doing online and on social media as well as who is contacting them.
Rebecca www.mrsmumsie.com said: “Before I began working for ChildLine I did not fear the internet half as much as I do now. I frequently take calls from children who have been seriously affected by bullying on social media, online grooming, and graphic images etc. It is actually frightening how vulnerable children specifically are online.”
Mark Pearson, founder of My Voucher Codes, commented on the findings:
“Looking at how bullies can attack easily online and how inappropriate things are shared online, we are not surprised to see these have parents most worried. In an age where technology is always evolving, we are not surprised that the main concern for parents is privacy. We have seen from previous research that young people can be quite naive when it comes to what they do online and share on social media.”
He added: “Recently many service providers are by default blocking adult content, which reduces the risk of children accessing and viewing something they shouldn’t. However there is a certain amount of responsibility on parents to not only monitor what their children do online but also educating them the dangers they could face.”