Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos has told parents that they must talk to their kids about fake news.
The expert gave the warning ahead of UK Safer Internet Centre’s ‘Safer Internet Day’.
She has also urged families to take part the ‘Find the Fake’ quiz, which helps them spot misinformation and encourages them to learn more about the issue in a fun way.
Dr Papadopoulos gave five main tips that parents can follow to help them talk to their kids about fake news.
She advised to always talk to them about the source of information, help them understand just because something is everywhere, doesn’t mean it’s true, give them examples, foster a discussion about it and encourage them to put fake news right.
The expert, who is the Internet Matters ambassador, commented: “It’s increasingly hard to spot fake news stories in today’s world. Even reputable news organisations have found themselves reporting on fake stories in recent times.
“Fake news is dangerous because the decisions that we make in our lives are based on information that we have, and if that information is flawed, it means that we’re not making the best decision for our well-being and those around us.
“That’s why it’s important for parents to talk to their children about the issue, teach them critical thinking skills and media literacy. Together you can help them navigate their online world safety.”
Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters, also added : “The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day run by the UK Safer Internet Centre is particularly poignant. Unfortunately fake news and misinformation is on the rise, and separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy.
“As well as following these expert tips from Dr Linda, we would always encourage parents to get children to think carefully about what they see and hear online. Help them check the source of the information and discuss the impact of reposting or sharing false information.”