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New Survey Reveals Online Risks Taken by York Children


7:48am 22nd January 2014

A new survey has shown the risks taken by York school children online.

The questionnaire for the city council shows 23.2% of primary and 68.9% of secondary age children have a profile on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

But only 4 in 10 of them have their profile set to private, meaning six in ten of them can be seen by anyone on the internet. More worrying, is that one in five pupils at schools in the city say they have made a friend online that they don't know in the real world.

This video for parents from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has some tips to start with:

There is also this video from CEOP to make teenagers aware of the risks of not protecting their online profiles.

This video from Consumer Reports in America offers a step by step guide on how parents can alter their children's Facebook settings to keep things private.

North Yorkshire Police has these simple tips to keep yourself and your family safe online:

  • Don't post pictures of yourself you don't feel comfortable with. A simple test is to ask yourself, would my family be happy for me to post the picture? If they wouldn't, don't post it
  • Set your privacy settings so only your real friends can get on your profile
  • Make sure you know who is on your friends' list. Someone you think is an online friend might not be
  • Know where to turn. Speak to trusted adult or use the Report Abuse button if you are worried about a message or request on your profile
  • Be careful about the private information you have on your profile. If you wouldn't tell a stranger something in the street, why tell a stranger online?

The advice to parents is to make sure they know who their children are talking with online and to talk with them about any concerns they might have.

The good news is that offline in the real world, the vast majority of children in York feel safe in the city, with more than 90% saying they feel safe at school, although this falls to 84.6% on public transport. The findings of the survey will be discussed by councillors at a meeting later.

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