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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

NSPCC and O2 offer advice for parents about keeping their kids safe online during lockdown



In support of UK Safer Internet Centre’s Safer Internet Day, NSPCC Northern Ireland has spokespeople available to offer advice to parents to help them keep their kids safe online.

The charity will be supporting the day in keeping with the theme of Together for a better internet by sharing helpful content with parents, as well as advice for young people via Childline (https://pgj.cc/eaWwI7). There will also be helpful guidance and training for professionals about the importance of online safety on NSPCC Learning (https://pgj.cc/cX3XfL).

Parents and children will be able compete against each other in O2 and the NSPCC’s fun Net Aware quiz, which includes key messages about keeping safe.

This year’s Safer Internet Day comes amidst Coronavirus restrictions that mean families are continuing to spend extended periods of time at home and parents’ concerns about their children’s safety online are likely to intensify.

NSPCC and O2’s co-created website Net Aware helps parents keep their kids safe online, so they can explore the endless possibilities the online world offers, and safely navigate any risks. They have recently launched an Online Safety In Lockdown Hub with tips and advice about making the most of the internet safely during the pandemic.




Margaret Gallagher, Head of Local Campaigns Service at NSPCC Northern Ireland, said:


“Safer Internet Day is an important event for us all to help keep kids safe. With children spending more time online, learning and staying in touch with friends during lockdown this year, it is particularly important to think about this issue.

“Social networks have been a lifeline for children during the pandemic but use of them does still come with risks. It’s important children have support from parents and carers through open and trusting relationship’s and regular conversations about what they are doing online.

“Our Net Aware website, run in partnership with O2, is here to support parents have those conversations by providing advice on the most popular apps, sites and games children are using.”

Net Aware brings together the NSPCC's expertise in protecting children and O2's tech know-how, with everything parents need to keep their kids safe online.

Safer Internet Day resources

Stats

A recent YouGov survey of 1,791 parents with children aged 8 – 13 years old, undertaken by the NSPCC found:


  • Just over a quarter of parents were more worried about what their child was doing or seeing online during lockdown than they had been prior to lockdown.

  • Well over half (67%) of parents said their children were spending their time during lockdown gaming on games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox.

  • Almost two fifths of parents (39%) found their children video chatting on apps like Houseparty, Zoom and WhatsApp.

  • 43% were instant messaging on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

  • The survey also found that since lockdown was introduced, a high majority of parents (72%) found their children watching videos on places like YouTube and TikTok.

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