Keeping kids safe online over the Easter holidays
Equifax offers tips for parents navigating the social media maze with children
As the Easter holidays loom, parents might be worried that their children could spend more time on social media sites, with figures suggesting that they could be online for as many as 3 hours per day1. The latest research commissioned by Equifax, the credit information expert, has also found that 4 out of 5 UK parents don’t monitor their children’s social media activity2. In the run up to the Easter holidays, Equifax is urging parents to educate themselves about the social media their children use in order to help protect their families from online dangers.
According to the Equifax commissioned research, only 30% of UK parents are ‘friends with’ or followers of their children’s social media accounts, and 80% of parents never check their children’s internet-enabled devices to see what they are sharing. This could be particularly risky during the Easter break as children will be online for an increased amount of time and parents could be missing vital clues as to what activity they are engaged in.
The study also revealed that many parents are concerned about how much time their children spend online, so much so that one in five confiscate smartphones and tablets at bedtime to limit the time their children can spend online. Whilst it is positive to see that parents are taking responsibility for limiting time spent online, confiscating devices is not the always the best solution.
Commenting on the research, Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax, said: "Understanding what your child is sharing online, as well as who they are sharing and engaging with, is vital. Keeping up with the latest apps and social media platforms can be a bit overwhelming for parents, but it’s just part of modern parenting and helping kids enjoy social networks safely.
"As well as monitoring where and who they are talking to, it is also important to recognise that kids need to respect what they are sharing, whether that’s a picture of a friend or family member or something about themselves. The school holidays are a perfect opportunity to keep in touch with friends and share memories, and whilst social media is a great means of communication for the younger generation it does need to be used with care. Our infographic is a great starting point for parents looking to take extra care this Easter, when it comes to the online safety of their kids."
EQUIFAX'S TOP TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN ONLINE
- Get to know the latest social networks and apps
- Wait until your child is of an appropriate age before agreeing with them which social network sites they can join
- Help your child create their profile and turn on their privacy settings
- Stay up to date on any changes to privacy settings and change them accordingly
- Use the reporting and help tools if you spot inappropriate language or images
- Show your child how to block or ignore people on games and social networking sites and help them know when to do that
- Teach your child never to share personal details, such as their password, address or their school
- Decide together how long they can use certain sites each day
- Use the same social media and become a friend or follower to keep an eye on things
- Make sure kids understand that people they know online may not be who they say they are and that meeting them could be dangerous
2 Study commissioned by Equifax conducted by Censuswide which surveyed 1,001 parents and children aged 8-16 years old - 09.01.2018 - 11.01.2018
Equifax Inc. (Equifax) is a global information solutions company that uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs 10,100 employees worldwide.
Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.
Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.