Almost half of British kids have social networking profiles

An Ofcom report published today has revealed that 74 per cent of British households now have Internet access (a rise of three per cent since 2009), and that 54 per cent of children aged 8-15 with a connection at home have a social networking profile.

That means that approximately 40 per cent of British children aged 8-15 use Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and other similar sites that allow registration for children 13-years-old and up.

However, 34 per cent of 12-15-year olds who use the Internet at home have also admitted that they still talk to friends of friends or complete strangers, regardless of the privacy warnings they may have received.

More worryingly still, 22 per cent (over one in five) of 12-15 year olds who use the Internet at home would find no problem in sharing their email address online.

Their parents may not be much help either, almost half of them with children aged 5-15 who have a connection at home claim that they know less about the Internet than their kids.

It's not all scary stuff though, the amount of adults who watch audio-visual content on the net has risen to 41 per cent from 32 per cent in 2009. And more of them also use the Internet for shopping, with 43 per cent say they have bought or sold items online (in preference to 37 per cent in 2009).