WebWise news report - children on Facebook
A report on social networking, age and privacy for the EU Kids Online project claims that almost half of British children aged 9 to 12 use social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo.
A survey of 25,000 children from across Europe suggests that one in five children in the UK has a Facebook page, despite the site not allowing users under the age of 13 to create a profile.
Although the report’s authors believe that removing age restrictions would allow better monitoring of online behaviour, children’s charity Kidscape warns that it could lead to an increase in cyber bullying - where children can be victims of taunting and threats through emails, mobile phones and messages on social networking sites.
The risk children face when using social media has been at the heart of discussions about online safety and news stories highlight some of the problems parents face when monitoring their children's web access.
But with computers forming a central part of a child's education, it's important that parents encourage responsible internet use while helping maintain their child's online safety and privacy.
Installing parental control software is one way of protecting a child from online content as it enables a parent to decide the sort of websites they don't want their child to access.
To learn more about social networking safety, read How do I keep my child safe on social networks? on BBC WebWise.
If you're new to social media, why not take our WebWise Social Media Basics course? Click here to take the course.
Read the full BBC News article here.
Hajar is part of the WebWise production team and has also made award-winning programmes for BBC Radio. In her spare time she loves reading, writing and singing.