Pirate FM News

WATCH: Do you know what your child posts online?

WATCH: Do you know what your child posts online?

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:21am 12th February 2018. (Updated at 11:23am 12th February 2018)

More than three quarters of parents in Cornwall and the south-west have no idea what their child is posting online.

One in four is worried about how much time youngsters spend on social media, according to a new survey.

The same admit having to take a tablet or smart phone away at bed time.

It comes as police in the Duchy and Devon launch an awareness campaign about the dangers of sexting.

Figures show our force is dealing with more than one report involving under-18s a day.

Frightening Facts:

  • More than three quarters of parents in the south-west don't know what their child is posting on social media
  • Only a third are a friend or follower of their child's social media activity.
  • A quarter of parents in the South West are concerned about the amount of time their child is spending online
  • A quarter admit that they are forced to take away their child's device at bed time to stop them using it

Worrying new research, commissioned by credit information provider Equifax, reveals that 23% of parents are concerned about the amount of time their children are on the internet.

As a result, 20% of parents are forced to take away their child's internet enabled device when they go to bed to stop them accessing the internet.

Although a third of parents monitor what their child posts on social media as they are a follower/friend, 80% said that they don't actively check their child's device to see what they are posting.

This means that the children could be sending information and content privately online that their parent is consequently unable to monitor.

Pirate FM has spoken to internet safety expert and programmes manager at Young Enterprise, Russell Winnard.

He said: "There's a bit of a misconception that children understand fully what they are doing on social media.

"Young people may not necessarily realise that sharing certain images, certain information or details about themselves could lead to some quite serious consequences".



Check the guidance provided by manufacturers. Product information often comes with new devices or can be found online. This will give you some idea as to how the device collects and shares data.


Many Internet of Things devices require downloading an app. You should check the privacy settings and permissions of any apps you download, as well as the product itself.


Buying a recongised brand is likely to offer greater security than cheaper options, although there have been data breaches with some of the most popular IoT toys. Reading reviews online will help you understand the digital safety of a product.


Many products have parental controls or child-safe modes as standard. These limit search abilities and access to paid-for services. We recommend using these for children under 13.


It’s important that your internet router is secure. Most internet service providers have security features, so you may want to consider switching these to safe mode. If the device has Bluetooth, set it to ‘undiscoverable’, otherwise you may unintentionally share data or allow hackers to take control of the device.


Make sure all passwords are changed from their defaults. The use of strong, unique passwords is essential to protecting you and your family online.


With any internet-connected device, whether a smartphone or toy, it’s important to speak to your child about staying safe online. Read our guidance on how to start a conversation with your child about staying safe online

Read more advice from the NSPCC here.

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