Web-obsessed Brits spend 50 days a year online with ’80 per cent of kids abused’

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WEB-obsessed Brits are spending an average of 50 days a year online, an Ofcom report has found.

Adults log up 1,192 hours and the figure is rising by seven per cent a year.

Four in five children have had at least one bad experience online
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Four in five children have had at least one bad experience online[/caption]

Yet six in ten say they have had a potentially harmful experience, such as unwanted emails, fake news and scams in the past year.

Four in five children have had at least one bad experience, with a quarter targeted by cyber-bullies, particularly on social media.

The shocking statistics prompted new calls for “robust new laws with tough sanctions” against tech companies which fail children.

Tony Stower, the NSPCC’s head of child safety online, said: “It is blatantly clear that, left to their own devices, tech firms will not protect young users.”

On average, adults are spending most of their time online looking at entertainment
On average, adults are spending most of their time online looking at entertainment

The scale of Britain’s online addiction is laid bare in a report from the communications regulator Ofcom, which questioned more than 3,000 adults and children.

It found adults were spending an average of three hours 15 minutes a day online, mostly on entertainment, social media and gaming sites.

They spend 27 minutes a day browsing YouTube compared with 22 minutes on Facebook and just three minutes on BBC websites.

Smartphones are the most popular devices for getting online.

The most likely harm to be encountered online by children is offensive language
The most likely harm to be encountered online by children is offensive language

Children aged 13 to 17 clock up three hours, one minute a day and even those aged five to 15 are online for two hours, 11 minutes.

But 79 per cent of children said they had at least one potentially harmful experience in the past 12 months.

Many of the harms — defined as “annoying, upsetting or frustrating” — were said to have been seen on Facebook (24 per cent), followed by Facebook-owned Instagram (12 per cent) and Snapchat (eight per cent).

Eight in ten adults are worried about children being bullied online and seven in ten want more regulation of social media sites.


Ofcom director Yih-Choung Teh said: “As most of us spend more time than ever online, we’re increasingly worried about harmful content — and also more likely to come across it.”

But Stuart Miles, founder of gadget review website Pocket Lint, said three hours a day was probably an underestimate of time spent online.

And he added: “The number of minutes is only going to increase over the decade. It is only going to get higher.”

Tony Stower, the head of child safety online, has warned that tech firms will not protect young users
Tony Stower, the head of child safety online, has warned that tech firms ‘will not protect young users’
Stuart Miles, founder of Pocket Lint, said the amount of time people spend online is going to increase
Stuart Miles, founder of Pocket Lint, said the amount of time people spend online is going to increase

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