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Campaign launched to keep children safe online

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NSPCC launch new campaign to inform parents about online safety

A new campaign has been launched to protect children when surfing online and to make them more aware of the dangers of accessing certain content.

The NSPCC launched the campaign to inform parents better of the ease in which children can access content deemed unsuitable.

It comes after a panel of parents from Mumsnet reviewed social media sites with adult content and found nearly all of them were open to children.

On more than 40% of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety information.

NSPCC Scotland says its helpline regularly hears from children and adults who are worried about online safety.

One adult from Aberdeen called because she was worried about a young teenage girl who was in a relationship with an 18 year old. "I saw an image of her performing a sex act that had been posted online," she said. "You can clearly identify that it's her and the image seems to have been widely shared. I'm really concerned for her."

The NSPCC has used the reviews to create an online guide, Share Aware, to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children.

Matt Forde, NSPCC Scotland national head of service, said: "Children are taught from an early age that it is good to share but doing so online can be very dangerous.

“This Christmas many children will have been given a smart phone, a tablet computer, or a games console. So it's the perfect opportunity for parents to have that important conversation about who they are talking to and what they share when they socialise online.”

"We know that children do take risks online, sometimes without realising it. Our Share Aware campaign gives parents straightforward, no-nonsense advice that will help them to untangle the web and feel confident talking to their children about online safety."