Parents may be unintentionally exposing their children to cyber-bullying and other online risks by setting up social media accounts for their offspring and allowing them to surf the web unsupervised.
With increasing numbers of children using the internet, a new study has found that only one in ten parents think their child is safe online yet many (43%) willingly set up social media profiles for their children, even if they are under-age. A third of parents also admitted they had not spoken to their children about how to stay safe online and less than 1 in 5 had set parental controls on internet-enabled devices in the home. More than half of the children interviewed said they are often online without any parental supervision.
Despite many families’ relaxed attitude to online safety, nearly 1 in 5 children aged between 10 and 17 had been the victims of cyber-bullying, and almost a quarter of children have had it happen to a friend.
The fight against online abuse
The research, which is published to mark the start of National Anti-Bullying Week, has been produced to support families to better protect themselves online. The Anti-Bullying Alliance, who co-commissioned the study, is now calling for a national debate.
Where is the safest place to live?
Wales has some of the safest places in which to live, according to a new analysis.
Llwyngwril in Gwynedd was named as the safest place to raise children. Abercych in Pembrokeshire followed in third and Dyffryn Ardudwy in Gwynedd claimed fourth place. Seven Welsh postcodes in total made the top ten.
In England, St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly, Seascale in Cumbria and Probus in Cornwall helped to complete the top ten, coming second, fifth and tenth respectively.
The data was collected by a financial services firm, they analysed all 2,400 postcodes across England and Wales, looking at education, crime, childcare costs, property prices, local amenities and green spaces.
The company also interviewed a number of people across England and Wales on what factors are important to them when choosing where to live. Nine in 10 of those questioned said that crime levels are a major consideration.
The report also rates postcodes according to their childcare provision and ‘fun factor’. It reveals that Brighton and Hove are the two best places in England and Wales for childcare. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the most fun place to live in England and Wales, then you should consider moving to Wokingham in Surrey.
The best ‘all-rounder’ though, and the town named most family-friendly in England and Wales, is the Nottinghamshire town of Bingham. It narrowly beat Crowthrone in Berkshire and Winscombe (Somerset) to the top spot.
Keep safe and just go swimming
These reports that paint a picture of an unsafe world, are a million miles away from where we should be. We all know that crime and nasty behaviour exists, but that shouldn’t put us off from living for the day, or the pool!
But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that cyber-bullying exists and is a serious thing. For those experiencing cyber-bullying, it can feel embarrassing or degrading to talk about, for that reason it can sometimes be easier to talk with a stranger. For this there are websites and numbers you can call.
Further information on cyber-bullying
Advice on reporting bullying