UK: Research shows kids as young as eight have handed out personal details online

New research conducted by O2 and the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) has revealed that among 2,000 children, aged 8-13 across the UK, almost a third have handed out personal details to people they’ve met online. Details that were shared include their mobile number as well as their home address.

One of the reasons for children being allowed to hand out personal information could be due to parents’ lack of understanding around technology. The research found that while more than four out of every five parents warn their children about real-world dangers, just 65% check who their children are talking to when they go online. To assist parents, O2 and NSPCC have re-launched a website called Net Aware which provides lots of information about different social networks, and tips on how to use them safely.

Discussing the relaunch of Net Aware, Ann Pickering, Chief HR Officer and Chief of Staff at O2, said:

“Apps and social media are a brilliant way of keeping in touch with friends and making you feel less alone, but it’s vital that parents understand and talk to their kids about the potential dangers too.

“We launched the Net Aware website with the NSPCC so that parents can learn about the latest social networks, sites and games, and we’re very proud to announce that we’ve now expanded the platform with even more up-to-date advice, information and top tips from our O2 Gurus.”

The research also looked at the social media accounts of the children being surveyed. The researchers found that almost a quarter of profiles contained an email address while 8% displayed their phone number. Other details such as pet names (25%) and the school they attended (24%) were also revealed online.

The final bit of information revealed by the study shows that parents are most strict when it comes to using phones (40%), this is followed by the usage of tablets and video game consoles. With regards to laptops, just 8% of children felt their parents were strictest about using this device.

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