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Monday, 7 August, 2000, 03:02 GMT 04:02 UK
Net dangers for children
children in computer room
Children are embracing the web enthusiastically
Many children surfing the internet are putting themselves in danger by telling people they meet online where they live, a survey has suggested.

One in three children aged seven to 16 said they would give their address over the net for free samples, gifts or information.

The implications for vulnerable children were "self-evident and frightening", said Barbie Clarke, director of NOP Family, a division of the NOP Research Group, which conducted the "kids.net" study.


Danger lurks in the cyber-world every bit as much as in the real world

Barbie Clarke
Of the four million children aged seven to 16 who surf the web, 29% would happily supply their home address while 14% would give their e-mail address, the survey found.

Ms Clarke said: "Kids who surf the web regard themselves as net-savvy, yet they are incredibly vulnerable.

"Not only will kids supply their address to companies, many of them believe that if they make a 'virtual friend' on the Internet it is perfectly OK to give them their home address.

"The possible implications of this are both self-evident and frightening and underline the need for parents to ensure that their children understand that danger lurks in the cyber-world every bit as much as in the real world."

Some 2,000 children aged seven to 16 and their parents were interviewed for the survey in April and May.

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