Children spend most of their time online, yet we don't pay enough attention to their safety

Children are much less able to identify harmful content online than they claim to be, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, parents are not always sure how to approach their children's online activities, and as time goes by, they pay less and less attention to it, even though teenagers are the most frequent victims of cyberbullying. To help parents understand their children’s online activities, Yettel announced the launch of TudatosNet knowledge packs for the start of the school year. 

Internet use is now an integral part of children's everyday lives and they are making less and less distinction between the offline and online worlds, according to a recently published survey conducted on a sample of more than 3,300 children and parents in the UK.[1]

Most of the children participating in Ofcom’s survey were confident in their ability to judge what is real and what is fake online, but this was not the case when the research company tested this in simulated conditions. Participants were able to recognise a fake social media profile, but were easily fooled by misinformation, for example.

However, the survey also revealed the harmful side of being online, with responses showing that one in three children have already seen something online that worried or upset them, and many of them have been victims of cyberbullying on social media, in online games, messaging or video chat applications.

Parental attention wanes as the child grows

The survey also looked at parental attitudes. Although most parents are confident that they have enough knowledge to keep their child safe online, many do not know how to approach their child’s online activities. Parents say they can actively monitor their children's online presence, but responses also showed that this is decreasing as children get older.

An earlier Yettel survey[2] among Hungarian parents came to a similar conclusion: as children grow up, parents pay less and less attention to their online activities. Cyberbullying and online behaviour get far less attention than, for example, school issues, yet cyberbullying affects teenagers the most.

Responsible internet use

An average child gets their first phone at the age of eleven, and three or four-year-olds often have access to their parents’ tablets or laptops so they are inevitably exposed to the largely unrestricted and unregulated world of the internet. Parents have an easier time when their young children just want to watch a story, but when they start surfing the web on their own, many parents don't know how to keep their children safe. The book titled Parents’ Big Mobile Book uses case studies and advice from British cybersecurity expert Will Geddes to help parents understand how to be part of their children's online lives. Now, under the partnership of Yettel and Forbes, the book is available online. It explores the topic of safe internet use in 14 chapters, from creating a healthy technology environment to sexting, pornography and preventing exposure to violent content. And Yettel is also launching a TudatosNet campaign from 18 August to mark the start of the school year. In its promotion, the operator is offering four devices that appeal to children and young people including a smartphone, two tablets and a smartwatch at a discount, combined with a knowledge pack as part of the offer, that is, it provides parents with direct access to 14 online chapters of the Parents’ Big Mobile Book on a weekly basis.

More information:

[1]Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2022 (