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Kids spend £64m online without parents' knowledge

Video games and books most popular buys

Children are spending £64m per year online without their parents' knowledge, says CPP.

Research by the life assistance firm revealed just under two thirds (63 percent) of kids aged between seven and 16 have purchased goods online, with eight in ten being given access to their parents' credit card or Paypal account to make the purchases. On average, kids make seven online purchases per year, at around £15 per purchase, and one in seven of those are made without parental consent.

A quarter of children have bought or are planning to buy Christmas presents online - that's a 10 percent increase on last year. More than half (51 percent) of children said they bought computer games online, while 42 percent purchased books and 30 percent opted to buy films.

However, nearly a quarter of children admitted to buying games or films for older age groups, and one percent claim to have purchased cigarettes, alcohol and even weapons online.

Furthermore, three quarters of kids do not check the security of a website before making an online purchase, which means parents are being put at risk or having their credit card details stolen when letting children shop online unsupervised.

"Parents need to educate their children about of the very real risks of shopping online," said Sarah Blaney, a card fraud expert at CPP.

"They need to ensure that their children only put sensitive information into sites that are encrypted, trusted and secure and teach them about what signs to look for in a safe site."

Blaney advised card users to take preventative steps to safeguard their sensitive information such as signing up to MasterCard's SecureCode or Verified by Visa.

See also: 85% of kids don't have parental controls on their mobile

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