Parents are relying too heavily on simple trust that their children doing as they are asked to when using the internet, according to research from BroadbandChoices.co.uk.
84 per cent of parents polled across the UK said that they rate a verbal agreement with their children on safe Internet usage as their number one means of monitoring online activity.
This comes in the wake of a worrying Ofcom report which has found parents are ignorant of the danger posed to millions of children by social networking websites such as Facebook, Bebo and Myspace.
Michael Phillips, product director of BroadbandChoices.co.uk, said: “Ofcom’s study shows children using sites such as Facebook and Bebo are at greater risk from paedophiles and bullies. Children are bypassing online age restrictions to put reams of intensely personal detail about themselves online.”
“In light of this it’s surprising that so many parents rely heavily on their child doing what they ask – it just isn’t going to happen in most cases and the recent Ofcom report highlights the dangers the Internet can pose.
“With the recent growth in wireless broadband it’s likely that children are going to spend even more time unsupervised on the Internet. However, there are a few simple steps parents can take to bolster protection for their child when online. Rather than relying on a single approach, they should use parental control and security software, combined with education, to stop inappropriate material – and people – reaching their child.”