A new report by UK communications regulator Ofcom has highlighted children’s online safety as a point for concern.

Only 11% of 12–17-year-olds are able to identify fake components of an online profile, whilst more than a third of children admit they have seen worrying content online.

The survey also showed that 84% of 8–17-year-olds feel they have experienced cyber-bullying, compared to 64% who said they had been bullied face-to-face.

Only a third of children are aware of online reporting functions, with just 14% admitting to using them.

58% percent of parents believe that the benefits of their children being online outweigh the risks, due to access to learning sites and being able to stay connected with friends.

The report into children and parents media use and attitudes also shows that 17% of children aged three to four have their own mobile devices, with 28% of five to 7-year-olds also own their own mobile phone.

Despite this, online-wellbeing is at an all-time high.

Over half the teenagers surveyed believe that being online is good for their mental health.

Likewise, eight in ten children use the internet to find support for their wellbeing, including online videos for sleep and relaxation.

Almost half of parents in the UK feel that they struggle to control their child’s screen time and internet usage. This is potentially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the lack of other activities for children to do during lockdowns.

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