Majority of kids play online games with strangers – CyberSafeKids


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Almost two-thirds of teachers facing online safety incidents

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One in three pre-teens play online with people they don’t know, according to new figures released today in the children’s internet safety charity’s annual report, CyberSafeKids. Online games are played by 80% of 8-12 year olds according to research, with the number of gamers playing with strangers increasing 16% from 2020.

The survey also found that 61% of children said they had been contacted by a stranger in an online game, more boys than girls (68% boys vs. 56% girls).

Most of the children surveyed (84%) reported using social media and instant messaging apps, despite the minimum age restrictions on all popular apps of at least 13 years old. The most popular apps were YouTube (74%), TikTok (47%), WhatsApp (39%), and Snapchat (37%).


One-third (32%) of children using social media post videos of themselves online. TikTok is by far the most popular video sharing platform, with 80% of kids posting videos to TikTok.

CyberSafeKids surveyed 3,904 children aged 8 to 12 in schools over the past school year and found that 93% had their own smart device. This means that the vast majority of children have a device that connects to the Internet, and many are active online.

CyberSafeKids CEO Alex Cooney said: “In a year of Covid-19 lockdown, we are seeing a large number of pre-teens owning devices and being active online. Unfortunately, a significant number of children have negative experiences, including 29% of children reporting at least one experience of bullying.

“While online gaming is clearly an extremely popular activity for this age group, it also poses risks, with over a third of children playing games with strangers and a noticeable increase from last year.

A national campaign is needed to provide parents and teachers with the information and support they need to help children have safe and positive online experiences. The online safety and media regulation bill must give users more power over content that has caused them harm and more incentive for social media and gaming platforms to remove that content quickly and efficiently.

In terms of parental engagement, the report highlights positive trends, with 79% of children reporting having regular conversations with parents and guardians, which could be attributed to both increased awareness and the fact that families spend more time together under one roof. The report also pointed out that while most children said they had rules in place at home regarding rules and access, almost a third (30%) said they could “go online when I wanted it ”and 13% said“ there are no rules ”.

The survey also asked children if they had seen anything online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know and almost a quarter (22%) said “yes”. They were also asked if they had ever come across any online content that upset or scared them and a quarter said yes. The report found that among children who encountered disturbing content online, most children (54%) reported it to a parent or trusted adult, but 30% of children said they did. ‘had kept to themselves, an increase of 10% compared to last year. The data.

In terms of impact on schools, the report highlights that most teachers (61%) face online safety incidents like cyberbullying in their classrooms and 79% of teachers think online safety is a problem. significant problem in their school.

TechCentral Reporters

Read more: CyberSafeKids Online Security

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