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Safer Internet Day: One in four children share personal information with strangers online


New research released to accompany national Safer Internet Day (11 February) has revealed that one in four children aged between six and 12 have shared personal information online with strangers.

The survey of 1,000 parents found that 25 per cent of young children confessed sharing personal information including their full name, address, password and images with people they didn’t know.

The research, which was conducted by Disney’s Club Penguin in partnership with Childnet and the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), also found that one in six of the children surveyed that sharing such information was appropriate.

The report also showed that although young children may be disclosing information they shouldn’t online, the majority of parents (64 per cent) say they regularly monitor their children’s use of the web.

The main reasons for parents cited for doing so were making sure their children did not speak to strangers (43 per cent) and making sure they did not spend too much time online (24 per cent).

Jonathan Baggaley, head of education at the National Crime Agency's (NCA) Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) said that both parents and companies should take advantage of Safer Internet Day as a chance "to recognise the important part we can all play in protecting our children online."

"Online safety is not a job for just one organisation," said Baggaley. "With modern technology and the internet now a part of our everyday lives, it is up to every single one of us to ensure we stay safe in the online world."

For more information on online safety visit ThinkUKnow