It can be difficult to verify stories that circulate regarding the safety of children online.
EU Kids Online surveyed 25,000 children and their parents across Europe. Their research revealed some interesting myths associated with potential risks facing children online.
Professor Sonia Livingstone, who headed the project said: “Often people don’t appreciate that the digital world brings both risks and opportunities for young people, or that risk isn’t automatically a bad thing as it may give children a chance to learn how to cope and become resilient. It’s only by understanding and balancing these things that we’ll be able to give children the practical help they need to get the best from the Internet.”
She also added: “The work our team of researchers has done offers governments, parents and teachers the most comprehensive insight yet into how to help.”
Here are some interesting myths about e-Safety
Digital natives know it all
Only 36 percent of 9-16-year-olds agreed that they know more about the Internet than their parents.
Everyone creates their own content
The above study revealed that only one in five children have recently used a file-sharing site, whereas only half that number have started a blog. This means most children use the Internet for ready-made content.
Children under the age of 13 cannot use social networking sites
Even though many social networking sites have set up age limits for signing up, the research shows that age limits don’t work – 38 percent of 9-12-year-olds have an online profile.
Online Pornography is popular among young people
This myth is partly created by media hype says the study, as only one in seven children viewed sexual images online.
Bullies are villains
Interestingly, the study showed that 60 percent who bully (online or offline) have been bullied in the past. Bullies and victims are often the same people.
People you meet on the Internet are strangers
Children are familiar with most of their online contacts. Only nine percent met new online contacts offline. The majority didn’t go alone and just one percent had a bad experience.
Offline risks migrate online
Only children who lead risky offline lives are more likely to expose themselves to danger online. Similarly, it can’t be assumed that those who are low-risk offline are safe online either.
Placing the computer in the living room will help to keep children safe
This advice is out of date, as children can easily go online at a friend’s house or on a smartphone. It is advisable for parents to talk to their children about their Internet habits.
Children can get around safety software
Surprisingly, one in three 11-16-year-olds say they can change filter preferences. Most of them also said that the actions their parents take to limit their Internet activity are helpful.
In the words of Stephen Hawking: “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.”
Would you like to find out more about e-Safety? Contact Securus today.