Kids Exposed to Unsafe Content Within 10 Minutes of Going Online

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

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.

Stay Safe and become a SafeWise Insider!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter to get the best safety news, product info, and deals.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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.

SafeWise recommends
Bark
Bark
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$49-$99
/yr

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
The Best Home Security Systems of 2024
After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the...
Man and woman couple wife husband set up surveillance security camera
Best Apartment Security Systems
These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your...
diy-security-system-on-ipad
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2024
SimpliSafe is the best DIY home security system because it's cost-efficient, effective, and easy to...
happy older women sitting together
Best Medical Alert Necklaces
If you find yourself in an emergency, a medical alert necklace can contact trained professionals...