PARENTS have been urged to make online safety a priority if their children have received smartphones, tablets or game consoles this Christmas.

The advice from the NSPCC and O2 comes as a survey of 442 parents of five to 10-year-olds found that 46 per cent don’t have parental controls set up on internet-enabled devices used by their children and only 30 per cent have them installed through their home broadband.

Overall just 29 per cent said they were confident the online parental controls they had in place for their children were sufficient.

The NSPCC and O2 joined forces in 2015 with the aim of helping parents keep their children safe online. The partnership now offers advice to parents through Net Aware (, the Icebreaker email series and the Online Safety Helpline.

NSPCC head of service for Worcestershire, Sandra McNair, said: “The online world can be full of fun and wonder for children and no doubt tablets, smart phones and games consoles will have featured on many Christmas lists this year.

“But the internet is not without its risks for children who can stumble across inappropriate content or even become victims of online abuse. That’s why it’s vital every parent and carer who has bought an internet-connected device this Christmas sets up parental controls to help protect their children from online risks. It’s also a good idea for parents to have regular conversations with their children about staying safe online.”

Stephanie McNamee, O2 NSPCC helpline agent, added: “Parents can use controls to block upsetting or harmful content, manage in-app purchases or how long children spend online.”