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A quarter of children in UK have been approached by strangers online

A quarter of children have been approached by strangers online, a shocking new NSPCC report has revealed.

Social media sites including Facebook and YouTube were found to be at high risk of exposing children to sexual, violent, bullying, suicidal or drug-related content.

Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat were also branded as being at high risk for sexual or bullying content, according to a survey of teenagers and their parents.

A quarter of children in the UK have been approached by strangers online, a shocking new NSPCC report has revealed

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: ‘Worryingly, we are hearing from children as young as 13 who have been contacted by adults they don’t know on social media, which can be extremely upsetting.’

A 16-year-old girl who reviewed YouTube said: ‘When you’re watching a video of something like a makeup artist, a video can be at the side of something completely different that could be sexual/hurtful or anything else. It’s easy to get yourself into a bad video.’

A 13-year-old girl who reviewed Facebook said: ‘I don’t like that just random people can send you a friend request.

Some lesser-known sites were high on the list of 50 risky websites and games, such as Sarahah (an anonymous messaging app), ROBLOX (a multi-player game) and Yubo (a live video streaming site).

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: ‘Positively, Net Aware [who carried out the research] highlighted that two-thirds of young people know how to perform safety functions including reporting inappropriate content, blocking someone online and changing privacy and location settings.

‘The NSPCC and O2 encourages parents to use Net Aware to build their confidence in having regular and informed conversations about what their child is doing online – just as they would about their day at school.

‘Research has revealed that one in four young people have been contacted over social media by an adult they don’t know, with a third of these children aged under 13.

‘2,059 children and 2,049 parents were surveyed for Net Aware, the essential guide to 40 of the most popular social media sites, apps and games that young people use, produced by NSPCC in partnership with O2.

Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat were branded as being at high risk for sexual or bullying content, according to a survey of teenagers and their parents

Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat were branded as being at high risk for sexual or bullying content, according to a survey of teenagers and their parents

‘Children and parents were asked if they’d seen violent, bullying or adult content on the social networking sites and games that children use – with Facebook and YouTube receiving high risk ratings across the board.

‘Other sites found to be risky included Twitter and Reddit, with both rated high for inappropriate content.¬†

‘Other sites in the top 15 most risky platforms included lesser known names that parents may not be aware of such as Sarahah, Episode: Choose Your Story, Omegle, ROBLOX and Yubo.

‘A mum claimed she saw “naked players” on the gaming app Roblox, while a father was concerned by “naked exposure of female bodies and invitations on adult pictures” on Skype.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk