Research carried out by internet security giant McAfee shows that just one in ten parents in Solihull and Birmingham believes that their child is safe while browsing the world wide web.
The survey of over 1,000 parents also found that nearly two fifths of parents (37 per cent) are concerned about the potential of their child being bullied online.
The exclusive research handed to Julian Knight, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Solihull, as part of his ongoing child safety online campaign, has come during the UK wide Anti-bullying week.
The research also follows hot on the heels of the Prime Minister's announcement of a groundbreaking agreement with Google and Microsoft to introduce stricter controls on internet searches to protect our children online and fight the evil of Child abuse.
Other key research findings include:
• A third (33%) of parents think that their child may have been bullied online
• Over a quarter (27%) of parents think their child may be a cyber-bully themselves
• Over half (54%) of children often go online without any parental supervision
• Nearly one in ten (9%) of children have experienced mean or cruel behaviour online
• Nearly one in ten (9%) of children have witnessed the cyber-bullying of a classmate or friend
• A third (34%) of parents have set up their children’s social profile; 34% of children had a social network profile before they were 13 years old.
Julian Knight, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Solihull has produced a free guide for Solihull’s parents and children. This guide - which gives helpful tips to parents on how to oversee their child’s use of the internet and spot the tell-tale signs of cyber bullying - has been sent to homes in Solihull and distributed to parenting groups and is available to local schools, all free of charge.
On the worrying findings of the McAfee research, Julian Knight said: “I have been deeply concerned for a long time about the threat to Solihull’s children from cyber bullying and dark forces on the internet; that is why I launched my campaign. This important research supports my view that cyber bullying and general online safety for kids is a problem that we all have to be much more aware of and take steps today to protect our kids.”
“The internet is a wonderful tool for knowledge and development amongst our young but we all have to get savvy about how our kids use it. Anti-bullying week is as good a time as any to acquaint yourself with the facts about child online safety."
Luke Roberts, National Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: “Cyber-bullying is increasingly an accepted part of online-culture. We know that young people are struggling to understand what is appropriate online behavior and how to keep safe, and that parents are struggling to know how best to protect their children from potentially harmful online experiences. As adults we need to teach children and young people digital skills and set boundaries so they are able realize the huge benefits and opportunities that the internet offers in terms of accessing information and making friends, but also ensures that they are safe and free from being bullied both online and offline.”
About The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA)
The Anti-Bullying Alliance is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, who work together to reduce bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. ABA is hosted by the National Children's Bureau. For more information visit www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk<http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/>
Anti-Bullying Week 2013 takes place 18-22 November. This Anti-Bullying Week we are calling on children and young people to take the lead on creating a future without bullying - using new technologies to promote positive communication rather than being held back by cyber-bullying.