Nine in ten children now play video games like FIFA and Call of Duty against each other on the Internet, according to a study.
But half of parents are worried about their child’s safety online with many fearing they’ll be exposed to swear words, bullying behaviour and at worst grooming by abusers.
Get Safe Online, a public internet safety initiative, unearthed the findings.
And they’re highlighting their top safety tips ahead of the big six-week school break-up this week. According to a survey of 2,000 parents with children aged 5 – 18, nine in ten (91%) parents say their kids play games online.
While the majority of parents say they limit the amount of time their children spend online gaming, a third (34%) admit that their child plays at least once a day.
The most popular device to game on is tablets, with three in five (62%) parents stating their kids use these devices to play.
This was followed closely by mobile with 47% of children using their phones to play games. This mean’s a child’s online activity is often out of their view.
Tony Neate, of Get Safe Online said: “In most cases, online gaming is fun, social and harm-free.
“We need to be realistic that kids are naturally going to want to play games with their friends, but parents are right to be showing some concern about a world they are perhaps not familiar with themselves.
“The risks range from downloading a computer virus, to bullying and even being targeted by an older predator with more sinister motives.
“Young people should be on their guard against random friend requests and make sure they don’t share any private information which could put them at risk.”
David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab added: “Although parents will frequently warn their children from an early age about ‘stranger danger’, this is generally directed at interactions in the physical world, with their key concern being that they don’t talk to strangers they encounter on the streets.
“But we now live in a connected world where strangers are commonly encountered online, so this kind of sound advice needs to be delivered in a digital context too.”
Source: Daily Star