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Sunday 18 February 2018

Study reveals half of 11-year olds have spoken to a stranger online

Checking your child’s phone and internet history can alert a parent early on to potential cyber-bullying
Checking your child’s phone and internet history can alert a parent early on to potential cyber-bullying

John Brennan

Half of 11-year olds have spoken to strangers online.

On average nearly 20pc of primary school children have spoken to strangers online, a new report has revealed.

It found that the older a child gets the more likely they are to speak with a stranger – with half of sixth class students admitting to talking to strangers.

This was just one of the shocking findings a report carried out by Zeeko Education found – who carried out research across 45 different schools in Ireland.

The company looked at digital trends and revealed some shocking statistics in relation to behaviour of Irish children and the internet.

Cyberbullying is still reported as a major problem with some children suffering from it before they’ve even made their first communion.

The report also found that 15pc of first class pupils have experienced cyber bullying at some stage online.

Over a quarter of second class students have been the victims of cyberbullying.

This percentage jumps significantly when looking at 6th class pupils – 33pc of which have actually been physically hit by somebody actively cyberbullying them.

The amount of ‘screen time’ children are getting in everyday was also revealed in the study.

Half of all fifth class students are now spending between one and two hours in front of screens everyday.

The study also found that Apple products are the most popular products across the age groups.

Founder of Zeeko, Joe Kenny told the Irish Sun, “The internet is a great resource… However, there many risks online especially for children.”

The company crowd-sourced €5,000 for an Internet Safety Guide for parents and educators – a digital copy of this will be distributed in 3,300 schools in Ireland later this year.

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