Nowadays, it seems every child’s head is bent over a smartphone or their eyes are glued to a computer screen, but do you even know what they are looking at?


According to new research conducted by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at Dublin City University (DCU), not only are half of parents unable to block inappropriate content, it also discovered that most are unfamiliar with networks like Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter.


Dr O'Higgins said: "In real life, outside the internet, parents wouldn't bring their kids to a park and leave them in a playground to play and go to the pub to socialise in a different space.”


"Certainly, unless they made sure the kids were safe and supervised and had the tools to protect themselves."



The research found that over half of children aged between six and eight have access to the internet, and while the majority are honest about their online activity, a well established “digital deceit” pattern in older kids can leave them vulnerable to cyberbullying.


Talking about the research, anti-bullying centre director James O’Higgins said: “Our research underscores the growing challenges and pressing need to create protections around children from cyber-bullying.”


“While many of the parents surveyed said they had talked to their children about the areas of concern — exposure to inappropriate or toxic content, cyberbullying, safety, and security — the vast majority still had very real concerns about their children’s levels of vulnerability online,” he said.