Following a letter by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, to social media companies, online child safety not-for-profit Internet Matters has called for government to consider investment in parent education in order to form a collective approach to keeping young people safe online.
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, said: “Children’s internet safety is one of the most pressing concerns parents face in the digital age.
“And while there is always more that the tech industry and social media networks can do to enforce age restrictions and protect children’s rights, we need to collectively focus on wider education to address the growing behavioural issues online that can negatively impact children’s health and well-being.
“We know from recent research that the overwhelming majority of parents feel responsible for their children’s safety online (96% of parents feel responsible, 80% feel ‘highly responsible’). Helping children stay safe in the digital world is a part of modern parenting and we would like to see more parents being made aware of the tools and advice available to them.
“With the right support, we can empower parents, giving them the skills to be able to teach their children to be smart and safe online. We can encourage their children’s critical thinking and build their digital resilience, so they can safely benefit from the wealth of opportunity which access to the internet and technology offers.
“To achieve this will require consistent focus from government, industry, schools and parents, working together around a common message and call to action that we will make the UK the safest place for a child to be online.”