The increasing number of children online implies increasing opportunities – but also risks. Yet a majority of 9-16 year olds say that they have not encountered anything on the Internet that has bothered or upset them in the past year.
The Swedish part of the study EU Kids Online also found that most children feel safe doing things that adults often perceive as risky.
However, in response to a general question, one in five (19%) Swedish children said that something on the Internet had bothered or upset them in the last twelve months. This figure varies from one-tenth of the 9-10 year olds to one-quarter of the 15-16 year olds.
One percent of the children said that they in the past year had felt upset when meeting face-to-face with a person they had first met online.
Five percent said that images with an obviously sexual content had made them feel uncomfortable online in the past year.
Most of those who had been cyberbullied in the past year (9 %) said that it had made them bothered and upset.
These are some of the results presented in the report Hur farligt är internet? (How dangerous is the Internet?) published today by NORDICOM’s International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, University of Gothenburg.
The report covers the Swedish part of the project EU Kids Online, where 9-16 year old Internet users and their parents in 25 European countries have been interviewed. About 1000 children have been interviewed in their homes in each country. The project is headed from London School of Economics and Political Science by Sonia Livingstone and Leslie Haddon, and is financed by the EC Safer Internet Plus Programme.
Many of the interviewed Swedish parents expressed that they would like more information from schools about Internet security. One suggestion presented in the report is therefore that a national directive targeting schools be developed concerning Internet security among young people.
More information can be provided by the Swedish research team, which comprises:
Cecilia von Feilitzen, The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, Nordicom, University of Gothenburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olle Findahl, World Internet Institute and University of Gävle, email@example.com
Elza Dunkels, Department of Applied Educational Science, Umeå University, firstname.lastname@example.org