There is a need to pro­tect our kids with cy­ber safety controls

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

DO you know ex­actly what your child is do­ing and look­ing at when they’re on­line? What about when they have their mo­bile phone?

The truth is even the best ef­forts by par­ents can­not en­sure com­plete com­pli­ance from their chil­dren ev­ery sec­ond of the day and night.

YouTube, a video shar­ing site that al­lows users to upload videos or watch videos oth­ers have up­loaded, is the most pop­u­lar on­line plat­form for chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to a new study con­ducted by cy­ber-safety group Fam­ily Zone.

The site is most pop­u­lar in the 0-8 years age group who are spend­ing up to 65 per cent of their on­line time on the site, com­pared with about 35 per cent of chil­dren aged 9-17.

The sec­ond most pop­u­lar form of tech­nol­ogy among chil­dren is Snapchat, mostly used by 13-17-yearolds. Snapchat is an app that al­lows users to send mes­sages and pho­tos to each other, but what makes it pop­u­lar with teens and young adults is the fact the con­tent dis­ap­pears sec­onds af­ter it has been viewed by the re­cip­i­ent.

This el­e­ment pro­vides for some lack of in­hi­bi­tion among users, which has caused crit­ics to slam the app which they say en­cour­ages sex­ting and cy­ber-bul­ly­ing.

Fam­ily Zone spokesman and dig­i­tal health and well­be­ing ex­pert Dr Kristy Good­win says what is more wor­ry­ing is that the re­search un­cov­ered the fact the ma­jor­ity of chil­dren are ac­cess­ing on­line sites without parental con­trol.

“With chil­dren on­line on av­er­age 20 hours a week, there is a need for them to be pro­tected with cy­ber-safety controls,” she says.

“Many par­ents have no idea about where their chil­dren are play­ing on­line and how to con­trol and limit their use of de­vices, cre­at­ing real dan­gers.”

Face­book, which has a min­i­mum age re­stric­tion of 13, is sur­pris­ingly most pop­u­lar among 0-8-year-olds who spend 21 per cent of their on­line time on the so­cial net­work­ing site each week.

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