A third of Irish children 'rarely or never' talk to parents about online safety 4 years ago

A third of Irish children 'rarely or never' talk to parents about online safety

A new survey has put the internet safety habits of Irish children sharply into focus.

One third of 8 to 13-year-olds surveyed said they rarely or never talk with their parents about online safety.

Of those children, 36 per cent admitted to having regular contact with a stranger online.

This information comes from a survey of 1,500 8 to 13-year-olds by CyberSafeIreland, conducted between September and November 2017.

It found that two thirds of kids own a smartphone.

The majority (69 per cent) admit to using sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, all of which have a minimum age of 13 for users in their policies.

A third of Irish children 'rarely or never' talk to parents about online safety

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Almost half of third class pupils surveyed have a presence on social media or messaging apps while for sixth class students, that number rises to 83 per cent.

Over a quarter of kids (28 per cent) spend over two hours a day online.

Today is Safer Internet Day and CyberSafeIreland wants to see an information campaign, similar to those around healthy eating and road safety, to educate Irish parents on safe internet use.

"All children in this age group who are online are potentially vulnerable, but those who are online without parental engagement are particularly vulnerable," Alex Cooney, CEO of  CyberSafeIreland.

"It is essential that any child who has access to the internet, especially when they are young, only does so with guidance and supervision from a parent or carer."