GONE are the days of “three rings and I’m setting off” from
a landline. Children – some as young as five – now have smart phones and
tablets to make calls and send instant messages online, leaving themselves exposed
to a world of potential risks.
It’s quite alarming to think that a QUARTER of primary
school kids have sent rude or sexually explicit messages on apps such as
Facebook and Snapchat.
Our shocking survey stats also revealed that a further one
in five of have received similar messages - or even indecent snaps.
Despite this, two thirds of parents seem blasé about what
their kids could be exposed to on their smart devices. One in five parents
don't bother monitoring what their children are up to online, but when it comes
to the clamp down on what is allowed, it’s mums who come out toughest,
implementing more curfews and banning devices from bedrooms.
When it comes to sexting, it’s girls who are most likely to
be in big bother, as one in six have been caught sending rude messages,
compared to just one in 20 boys.
Our figures also show that almost 50 per cent of six to
11-year-olds have been exposed to foul language online.
But once again, it’s parents who seem unconcerned as they
only plan to speak to kids about their security online when they reach nine
years old – by which time one in six have already been exposed to harmful
material. Whereas two per cent say they won’t bother chatting about it at all.
Despite this, 42 per cent of parents have shown some concern
for Facebook, citing it as the most worrying when it comes to online safety.
The popular site was followed by Snapchat, Instagram,
Facebook Messenger and YouTube as the most worrisome social media apps, while
it was online platforms such as Xbox, PlayStation and Minecraft that bothered
Our questioning also found that the average parent only
plans to speak to their child about sex, when they reach age 10.
Worryingly, seven per cent of parents have chosen not to
speak to their kids at all while a further ten per cent will not consider having
the “birds & bees” chat until their children go to high school.