Internet Matters launches summer holiday ‘screensafe’ campaign

By Internet Matters Team on

We work collaboratively across industry, government and with schools to reach UK families with tools, tips and resources to help children benefit from connected technology smartly and safely.

Urging parents to talk to their kids about staying safe online

  • Internet Matters #screensafe campaign returns to Chris Evans’ family festival Carfest in Cheshire and Hampshire for second year, as well as Edinburgh Fringe festival
  • Safe in the sun, safe online… Parents being handed free sunscreen with tips on how to keep their children online in the summer holidays
  • Comes as children likely to spend longer online over the school break – yet only four-in-ten parents have given their children advice, or agreed rules on what content to post online
  • More than half of kids aged 6-11 access the internet in their bedrooms

 

July 2017, UK: Parents are being urged to use the summer holidays to spend some one-on-one time with their children, talking about the important issue of online safety.

 

Children are likely to spend more time online than usual during the school holidays, keeping in touch with friends and staying up to date with the latest online trends, according to not-for-profit organisation Internet Matters.

 

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

 

Researchers also found that three-out-of-five children (60%) use the internet alone in their bedrooms. Meanwhile over half of UK children (54%) remain unsupervised even when they go online in a shared space such as the kitchen or living room.

 

The survey found 53 per cent of children aged 6-11 used internet enabled devices in their bedrooms.

 

The research – carried out by polling organisation Opinion Leader for Internet Matters – has shown 62 per cent of parents of 6-16 year olds said they were concerned the effect of too much screen time had on their children.

 

Carolyn Bunting, General Manager of Internet Matters, said: “The summer holidays are an ideal opportunity for parents to put time aside to talk to their children about how they are staying safe in their digital environments.

 

“We know that young people will spend more time on the internet during the summer holidays using smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming consoles to keep in touch with friends.

 

“We want conversations about online to become as much part of the routine as putting sunscreen on them as they play in the sun.

 

“By handing out sunscreen to families up and down the country we are trying to encourage parents to not only keep their kids safe in the sun but to think about how they can keep them safe on their screens. We are encouraging parents to get involved using the hashtag #screensafe.”

 

In partnership with the BBC’s Children in Need, Internet Matters will be giving out free sunscreen along with tips on how to keep children safe online at Carfest North and South Festivals this year – the festivals founded by TV and radio personality Chris Evans, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.**

 

As part of the drive to keep kids safe in the sun, Internet Matters has produced some hot tips to keep children safe online this summer:

 

1) Spend time together – find out what your child likes to do online and spend time with them doing that this summer.

 

2) Have an agreement – agree and set boundaries with your children for their internet use, including where and for how long they can use their portable devices

 

3) Parental and privacy controls – set your parental controls on your internet at home. Also, teach your child how to block or ignore people and set their privacy settings if they have a social media profile. This stops unwanted approaches from strangers.

 

4) Have regular conversations – be open and honest with your child about how they use the internet and what for. Encourage them to think about what they post and who they share it with.

 

For advice on children’s internet safety and how to keep your kids safe online this summer, go to internetmatters.org

 

*Research of 1,500 parents of children using the internet between age 6 and 16.

 

**Carfest North (28-30th July) – Bolesworth, Cheshire

Carfest South (25-27th August) – Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (11th-13th  August)

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