More than three-quarters of children aged 10-12 in the UK own social media accounts, despite being below the age limit.

The figures come on Safer Internet Day – a campaign aimed at creating a better and safer online community for children.

Hundreds of organisations in Nottinghamshire (and around the world) are involved to promote the cause, including Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council.

The internet is a great place for education, creativity and entertainment, but kids need the right skills to navigate the web and stay safe online.
Eileen naughton, google uk

Lorna Naylor, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Anti-Bullying Coordinator, believes that internet safety should be part of the national curriculum.

AUDIO: Lorna Naylor speaks about the importance of internet safety education

The survey for BBC’s Newsround is based on 1,200 young people aged between 10 and 18, and also found social media to be a staple in 21st century life.

Among 13-18 year-olds, 96% were signed up to social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp.

Among under-13s, 78% were using at least one social media network, despite being below the age requirement.

Melanie Fretwell, Enforcement Officer at Nottinghamshire Police, sees the value in children using computers; but is fearful when it comes to social networks.

AUDIO: Melanie Fretwell feels modern technology is worth the risks for children

To coincide with Safer Internet Day, Nottinghamshire County Council have published the results of a county-wide survey about online bullying. Key findings can be found below:

21% of Nottinghamshire pupils said they had been cyberbullied
62% always follow E-safety guidelines online
36% spend more than five hours a day online
81% of 10-11 year-olds use a tablet

Nearly 3,000 Notts pupils, aged 10 and over, from across 67 primary, secondary and special schools took part in the survey which was carried out during the autumn term in 2015.

CBJ Spotlight is asking you: When should children be allowed a social media account?

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