One in five kids meet up with online contacts

Too many kids are revealing their personal details online through email, IM and networking websites such as MySpace

Children aged under 16 often visit websites prohibited by their parents and even meet up with people they have met online. Two out of every five children aged 8-15 said they regularly visit websites banned by their parents, a survey by online identity firm Garlik shows.

Many disclose personal details, including their full name (30 per cent), home address (12 per cent), mobile phone number (20 per cent) and home phone number (10 per cent). School details (46 per cent) and family photos (9 per cent) are often revealed as well.

One in five children said they have met up with someone they have met online, with 5 per cent doing so on a regular basis. Only 7 per cent of parents said they were aware of their children doing this.

The vast majority of parents (90 per cent) said they monitor their children's online activities. But despite this, more than half of 8-15-year-olds said they had surfed the internet without their parents knowing.

Eleven per cent of children said they had been bullied online, either in chatrooms, by email or via instant messaging. Only half had told their parents.

"Our research is a shocking wake-up call to all parents in the UK to sit down with their children and talk about how to keep safe online. The web is a wonderful place to explore but young people continue to make themselves vulnerable by not applying the same caution online as they would in person," said Garlik CEO Tom Ilube.

The survey polled 500 children aged 8-15 and 500 parents across the UK.