Startling new research has found that more than one in four children are in contact with a stranger online, either via social media requests or online multi-player games.


The research, which was conducted by CyberSafe Ireland as part of their annual report, surveyed 240 primary school children in third, fourth, fifth and sixth class in Dublin and Wicklow, and found 19 percent of kids spend at least four hours online a day.



“Whilst many connections are harmless, there are cases where the contact with strangers is of significant concern, particularly for the five per cent of children who are in contact with a stranger on a daily basis,” said CyberSafeIreland chief executive Alex Cooney.


“The majority of children we speak to are under the age of 13 and, despite age restrictions on apps and games, most of them are extremely active online.


Shockingly, the research also found that more than half of teachers don’t feel like they are properly equipped to teach their pupils internet safety.



“It is concerning how many children are making contact with strangers on the Internet and the volume of time that some young children are spending online each day is not healthy,” said Ms Cooney


“Unfortunately for all its positive aspects, the internet presents increasing opportunities for sexual predators to meet and groom children online.”



For tips on how to teach your child about internet safety, you can click here


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