Inappropriate online images are the top concern of 71 per cent of parents in the UAE, according to a new YouGov report released on Tuesday.
Other concerns for parents, especially for those with young children, included interactions with strangers (65%), online bullying (62%), and exposure to dangerous games (61%). Parents of older children were more concerned about interaction with strangers (75%), illegal downloading (60%) and risk to reputation on account of content posted by their child (43%).
More than three-quarters of parents in the UAE (78%) are worried about their child’s exposure to inappropriate online content, More than nine in ten (92%) agree with the statement ‘Inappropriate online content can affect a child’s mental health’.
According to the report, more than nine in ten UAE parents (93%) said their children use the Internet. Parents of older children, 10 or older, were much more likely to say their children use the internet “very often” (79%), compared to only 39% of parents with children of 5 or under.
Despite this, only 30 percent of parents check their children’s online history “very often.” Parents of younger children were more likely to check up on their children’s activity.
YouGov reported a higher concern with online bullying among parents whose youngest children are aged between 6 and 10, with seven in ten of these parents saying this is concerning to them.
The deal with this issues, 53 per cent said they restrict their child’s internet access time and 47 per cent said they have tried to gain an insight into their child’s online interests by speaking to them regularly. Seventeen per cent of parents have installed parental control software, while 20 per cent have denied their children access to personal cell phones. Eighteen per cents that have not taken any steps in this regard.