Young Britons call for websites to assist in better protection online

Cover source: Pexels

Cover source: Pexels

Young people in the U.K. use the internet very often today and with this comes a need for increased security and more measures to protect them depending on the sites they visit.

Time spent online was said to overtake TV usage last year in a report by the BBC stating that 7- to 16-year-olds spend three hours a day online while 15- to 16-year-olds spend four, citing the 2016 Childwise Monitor Report.

According to a recent survey released by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 80 percent of children using sites such as Facebook and AskFM said that websites needed to do more to stand up to the spread of pornography, cyberbullying and hateful posts.

From 2015 to 2016, the charity held 873 counseling sessions for children who had become victims of online bullying in addition to 151 sessions on sexual abuse and coercion done through webcams and other forms of manipulation.  

The statistics were published in the charity’s Net Aware guide which saw 39 separate websites, games and applications put together to provide a comprehensive list of sites for parents to be aware of. To produce the guide, 1696 young people and 674 parents and guardians were approached for input.

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“Social media is a great way for young people to stay in touch with their friends but our research clearly shows that children do not feel that they are shielded from upsetting, dangerous, and adult content,” Matt Forde, the head of the NSPCC in Scotland, said about the guide. “It’s vital parents know about their child’s online world and regularly talk with their children about how to get help if they need it.”

Despite the concerns from some young people, the survey held for the guide also revealed that 87 percent of the participants knew how to keep themselves safe online but lack the additional support from the websites themselves.

The charity continues to work toward protecting young people online with various campaigns and action groups.