UK parents found to be most concerned about kids’ internet safety, as almost 1 in 5 spend half their day on the web


A new global report from Mozilla and YouGov has found that one in four UK parents believe their children have an unhealthy relationship with the internet. The report surveyed parents in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and France, with children aged 5-17. The findings come as the Online Safety Bill includes an AI age verification policy to prevent children from accessing inappropriate websites.


The report revealed that 15% of UK children spend between 5-10 hours a day on the internet, with the majority of that time spent gaming (75%) or watching video entertainment (73%). More than half (52%) spend 2-4 hours a day online. This is despite the fact that 40% of UK parents introduced the internet to their children by the age of 5.


UK parents are most likely to set restrictions on online content. Almost half of UK parents (41%) don’t believe their children can sufficiently protect themselves online and two thirds (64%) set parental restrictions on the type of content their children can access. The top online concerns for parents are exposure to inappropriate content (71%), online predators (53%), and cyber-bullying (46%). Cyberbullying also skews higher amongst children aged between 10-13 in the UK.


The results indicate that almost all UK parents (94%) believe that big tech is a harmful influence on their children’s online safety. Mozilla’s global competition and regulatory counsel, Kushall Amlani said: “The Online Safety Bill is a good first step in tackling harmful misinformation, but it needs to be done in a meaningful way by way of more oversight in content moderation decisions and holding social media companies accountable. Our survey found that 94% of UK parents don’t trust big tech, which speaks volumes.”


Mozilla is committed to building a better internet for everyone, which includes one that is safe for children. The increasing role the internet plays in children’s daily life and accounts for all platforms highlights the need for governments to double down on age verification methods and illegal content to help give parents peace of mind when their children are spending time online unsupervised.