Surf’s up! Disney aim to teach children and parents about online safety with activity day at Manchester Arndale

A family online fun-day is being hosted at the Disney Store in Manchester Arndale to teach children and adults about the importance of online safety this Saturday.

Did you know that one in four kids aged between six and 12 confess to sharing personal information online with strangers?

More and problems are surfacing regarding children’s use of the internet, to the point that the government will soon implement barriers to regulate what youngsters can and can’t view while surfing the web.

To help combat these issues, Club Penguin, Disney’s popular online multiplayer game aimed at children, has launched ‘It Starts With You’ campaign.

The campaign gives fun, interactive online safety lessons for children and parents alike following Safer Internet Day 2014.

Families can come down to the Disney Store in Manchester Arndale between 11am and 3pm on February 15 with their laptops, tablets and phones. 

There will be a vast array of take-home handy information available, including a helpful guide to internet safety.

The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day – which took place on February 11 –  was ‘let’s create a better internet together’. 

Both children and adults being encouraged to pledge towards making the World Wide Web a safer place for everyone.

‘It Starts With You’, which launched in the UK in September, aims to empower children to take the lead in spreading positive behaviour online and give their parents the tools to better support them.

The initiative is championed by Strictly Come Dancing star and mum-of-three Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who recently spoke out about online safety and backs her words by not allowing her children to have mobile phones and imposing stringent rules on their internet usage.

Although many parents are aware of the problems with unmonitored online activity, there is still a worryingly small amount of education available to children.

Research conducted by Club Disney – which has more than 175 million members across the globe – revealed that a whopping 80% of parents were so concerned about their children’s safety when surfing the internet they believe it should become a principle subject taught in classrooms.

Furthermore, in a poll of 1000 parents with children aged six to 12, ‘It Starts with You’ asked what they think constitutes acceptable online behaviour, and what changes that they would most like to make to the internet.

The results showed that more than a third of parents admit to not regularly monitoring their children’s use of the web. 

It also found that many families aren’t managing their computer when it comes to online safety.

Another poll carried out by the NSPCC revealed that 47% of parents felt that their child (aged between five and 15) knew more about the internet than they did.

The same survey also revealed that 13% of nine- to 16-year-olds in the UK say they have been bothered or upset by something they saw online in the past year.

For those who can’t make it to the Disney Store this weekend, Club Penguin will be setting up an online hotline which will give parents the chance to email any queries about online safety from February 10-23 at [email protected]

Picture courtesy of David Masters via Flickr, with thanks

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