Kids Exposed to Unsafe Content Within 10 Minutes of Going Online

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In our super-connected world, the internet is like a giant playground for our kids. But just like any playground, we need to keep an eye out to make sure they're playing safe. A recent study by the folks at VerifyMy, an online safeguarding tech leader, found out in new research that our kids aren't as safe online as we may think they are.

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So, here’s the scoop. Out of 2,000 kids in the US and UK who shared their online experiences, about 1 in 10 ran into stuff online that’s definitely not kid-friendly, including illegal content, including Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). It's a bit of a wake-up call for us to make sure we're doing all we can to keep our kiddos safe.


Image: Diva Plavalaguna, Pexels

More findings from the study

Get this - kids as young as eight have accidentally found stuff meant for grown-ups, like pornography. And it doesn’t take long; some kids bump into something they shouldn’t in just 10 minutes of being online. From seeing things about self-harm to extreme violence, and even some really nasty types of pornography, our kids are stumbling into content that's way out of their league.

But here’s a kicker - when they see something that makes them uncomfortable, only about 11% would actually talk to their parents or another adult about it. And even fewer, just 9%, would think to report it to someone who could help. It sounds like we need to get better at chatting with our kids about what they're up to online and making sure they know it’s totally okay to come to us with anything weird or yucky they find.

What you can do to protect your child

Banning your kiddo from the internet probably isn't a realistic answer to keeping them safe online. There are tools you can use to control what your child sees online and how often they can go online. Take a look at our picks for this year's top parental control apps.

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Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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