The current generation of children have more access to the internet than ever before. While there are plenty of benefits to that, with information at their finger tips, safety is always a concern for parents. I was surprised to hear that 56 per cent of children aged five to nine have shared personal information online. This is new data from a survey conducted by LeapFrog, and they have launched a new guide to advise on internet safety as a handy resource for parents to help with keeping kids safe online.

I often come across parents asking which is the best tablet to buy for their children, and sometimes there are parents suggesting that just buying a cheap tablet is better than buying a specific tablet aimed at children. Personally I don’t agree with that, and I would much rather recommend LeapPads. We have been through a few tablets in our house and as well as being much more durable for children, there is more peace of mind with a children’s tablet like LeapPad.

Five years old seems so young for children to be online sharing personal information without parent’s knowledge! I am confident that I know exactly what Mr Z does online (because he still does very little online!) but as the kids are getting older and Mr Z will be starting junior school next year, I’m sure these issues will arise before too long. Even when searching for innocent content, kids can come across things that you would rather they didn’t (we have come across some inappropriate videos on Youtube where people make Thomas the Tank engine swear!)

Tips and advice for keeping kids safe online. Which type of tablet is better to buy for kids online safety

I’ll pass over to LeapFrog to share their useful information and tips on keeping kids safe online:

As more children use the internet than ever before and one in three even have their own tablet*, a new survey today reveals that children as young as five are sharing personal information online with people they don’t know in real life.

The survey of 1,000 parents and 500 children conducted by LeapFrog, which creates award-winning tablets for kids, reveals that 56 per cent of children admit to sharing key personal information online, putting themselves at risk of illegal activity or abuse such as bullying, fraud, or cyber predators. The top personal information shared by children online are:

•             Full name (41 per cent)

•             Photos of themselves (38 per cent)

•             Exact location including the name of their school (20 per cent)

•             Address (four per cent)

•             Phone number (three per cent)

Over a third (33 per cent) of children surveyed also admit they have removed their browsing history at some point to ensure their parents do not see what they’ve been looking at online and a further 31 per cent confessed they have accessed a website they know their parents would not approve of.

As technology becomes more prominent in children’s lives, the vast majority of parents see the internet as a great place for kids to learn (97 per cent) but there is worry over how safe it is, with 87 per cent deeming inappropriate content too easy to access. More guidance is needed on how to help children get the best out of the web according to 57 per cent of parents, but many admit to not using basic parental controls on internet-enabled devices their children use (33 per cent) and a further 75 per cent said they do not even monitor their child when they are online.

In response to parents’ need for support on how to make the most of technology for their kids whilst keeping them safe online, the maker of the top selling kids’ tablet range**, LeapPad, has created an online safety guide. The guide includes expert comment, tips and advice from Stuart Miles, editor of Pocket-Lint, and Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos, head of the LeapFrog Learning Team.

LeapPad tablets, including the new LeapPad3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi, have been designed specifically for kids and feature built-in Wi-Fi and LeapSearch™, a kid-friendly web environment of videos, games and more that have been pre-screened by LeapFrog’s learning experts so parents can rest assured their child is safe and can only access age-appropriate content. The tablets are also equipped with safe wireless peer-to-peer chat and gameplay so children can play online together safely.

Stuart Miles, editor of Pocket-Lint comments: “Children growing up today are mimicking their parents and operating the likes of tablets is second nature to them. Too often parents are giving their children tablets they think are suitable for their child but in fact, most are either not durable enough to hold up to the way children play or children can easily access inappropriate and potentially dangerous websites or content. Additionally, many of these open web tablets do not offer the appropriate settings to protect children from making accidental in-app purchases.”

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE TO KEEPING KIDS SAFE ONLINE FROM LEAPFROG

 Sally Plumridge, International Marketing Director at LeapFrog comments:

“We recognise technology can bring positive benefits to children’s educational journeys, however, we understand parents often have concerns about online safety. This is why we’ve designed our LeapPad tablets from top to bottom, inside and out, exclusively for kids. Our tablets provide fun and personalised learning solutions for children, whilst giving parents peace of mind that their children are safe online right out of the box. We hope our new guide will be a helpful resource for parents to learn more about internet safety and ensure the risk of coming across inappropriate content online is a thing of the past.”

The LeapPad3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi tablets offer the perfect first tablet experience for kids. Both tablets have access to LeapFrog’s world-class educational content library of top-quality apps, games and videos all designed or approved by LeapFrog’s team of learning experts as well as shatter-safe screens and a highly durable construction to ensure fun and safe play.

LeapPad3 is a fast, high-performance five-inch tablet. With kid-safe web, Wi-Fi and a new capacitive touchscreen, LeapPad3 is the perfect combination of performance, durability and safety. LeapPad3 has 4GB of memory – enough to store 20,000 photos – as well as two mega-pixel front and back cameras and video recorders and a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery, so children’s exploration and creativity never ends. Parents also have the choice to go large with the LeapPad Ultra XDi, LeapFrog’s seven-inch Wi-Fi tablet. LeapPad Ultra XDi offers the ultimate multimedia experience kids and parents want with a high-resolution seven inch touch screen, 8GB of memory – enough to store 40,000 photos – and access to hundreds of downloadable apps. LeapPad Ultra XDi also includes front and back mega-pixel cameras and video recorders, a rechargeable lithium ion battery and an on-board MP3 player.

LeapPad3 (£89.99) and LeapPad Ultra XDi (£119.99) are now available in major retailers nationwide.

You can read our LeapPad 3 review here and our LeapPad Ultra XDi review here

 Image: Little Girl Learning to Handle a Laptop Shutterstock (modified)