Kids who frequently use social networking sites may be able to take advantage of the range of educational benefits such services can provide.

Deputy director of Kidscape Peter Bradley said many organisations are now using these platforms in order to get their message across.

However, he noted there is a responsibility on school staff to ensure youngsters act responsibly when using such sites to facilitate their learning, but this does not stop when they are outside the classroom.

"Parents do need to take an interest in the social networking sites to become more aware of the strengths, weaknesses and threats of them," he said.

Earlier this month saw the 2012 Safer Internet Day, which aims to teach youngsters how to make sure they stay safe when socialising over the internet.

Co-ordinator at Insafe Janice Richardson said such education is important for both kids and parents, who will have to think very quickly about how to respond to situations that may arise when their kids are online.

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