July 20, 2008

Report Shows Online Risks to Youngsters

More than one in 10 UK youngsters aged 11 to 18 have had sexually explicit conversations online, according to a new report.

The annual Mobile Life survey for the Carphone Warehouse found 27 per cent had interacted with strangers online and 10 per cent had met someone in person that they originally met on through the internet.

The worrying statistics emerged just days after parents were warned of the dangers of social networking websites by a city father whose 14-year-old daughter was groomed for sex by a man she chatted with on the internet.

William Hart, 22, was jailed for having sex with the girl on two occasions after meeting her at a party and swapping mobile phone text messages and emails.

Andrew Harrison, UK chief executive of the Carphone Warehouse, said: "It's not long ago that the world wide web began to transform the way we work, keep in touch and seek information and entertainment. Fast forward and our Mobile Life report has not only highlighted these benefits but also the potential dangers.

"We're committed to researching the best ways to keep children safe online and we hope our new findings will encourage parents to speak openly with their children about the internet."

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