Preparing for the most shared Christmas ever

By Internet Matters Team on

In the same time that it takes to cook your turkey, over 1.3 billion photos will be shared online. This fun fact highlights the need to encourage young people to share safely and discuss the risks of over-sharing online.

Whether it’s presents under the tree, mulled wine, mince pies or a favourite family anecdote, Christmas is the best time of year for sharing.

Why is it important to talk kids about what they share online?

And our campaign launched today is aimed at reminding parents to help their children think about the sort of content they share online this Christmas, as record numbers take to social media to post their festive updates.

Over half of kids use internet alone in their bedrooms

Our new research reveals that only four-in-ten parents (42%), have given their children advice, or agreed rules on what content to post online.*

Researchers have also found that three-out-of-five children (60%) now use the internet alone in their bedrooms, an increase of 18% compared to 2013, meaning it is more important than ever that children understand how to stay safe online.

The number of parents who say they always supervise their children while they’re online has gone down in the last three years from 30% to just 19%. Meanwhile, 41% of children now access the internet at a friend’s house or on the go, compared to 31% in 2013, which in part may be due to the increasing popularity of tablets with younger children.

Carolyn Bunting, General Manager of Internet Matters, said the rise was down to technology becoming more affordable and increasingly more mobile.

She said: “Millions of children in Britain will be unwrapping new smartphones or tablets on Christmas morning and, as our research suggests, many will use them immediately to share their Christmas online.

Parents involvement in kids digital lives is crucial

“While it’s fantastic that so many people will be sharing Christmas memories and family moments, it’s also crucial that parents are aware of what their children are posting and are getting involved in their kids’ digital lives.”

Carolyn added: “Parents might be surprised by how much their children will be sharing on Christmas Day, everything from the presents they’ve received from Santa right down to dad snoring away in front of the TV at the end of the day. So it’s important that parents sit down and have regular conversations with them so they can set rules and boundaries.

Social tips for parents

“We have created some tips to help parents understand the potential risks of over-sharing online, from the amount of personal information they are making available to knowing who they are talking to, and ways to keep it appropriate and fun.”

Additional information

If you’d like to learn more about how you can help your children stay safe online, here are some great resources:

E-safety issues – tips for parents 

Sharing on social media – tips for parents

E-safety advice by age 

Social networking advice

Setting controls on devices

Children’s online safety in 2016 report