Workshop Activity

The presentation of the group work highlighted the significance of the African saying "It takes a whole village to raise a child" and its transferability on the subject of the conference. "Nowadays, it must be a global village that takes part in a child’s education," concluded Jutta Croll, moderator and board member of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen. "We need companies to already consider safety for children and youths while developing their internet services, as well as the support of the government for setting a frame." "Parents and other guardians need support for media education within the family, while social youth workers are especially needed when the safety of children and youths at risk is concerned", adds Virginia Pareja from the Spanish partner organisation Fundación Esplai.

The report on the final findings of the project evaluation as well as the material and online learning units developed during the training campaign in six European languages will be available from summer 2014 on.

Please take a look at our conference programme

events in the field

research in the field

EU Kids Online: Preventive measures - how youngsters avoid online risks

by Sofie Vandoninck, Leen d’Haenens & David Smahel

To protect children from online risks, it is important to recognise that children’s perceptions of online problematic situations may greatly differ from those of adults. What adults perceive as problematic does not necessarily result in a negative or harmful experience for children.

This report shows that children's perceptions of online risks strongly depend on their awareness of how online activities may turn into problematic or harmful situations. Also important is their knowledge of effective preventive measures, since it appears that when children feel capable of dealing with a risk they are less fearful or worried by it. Children expressed a range of concerns about online problems that sometime bother or upset them. The salient risks in children’s eyes are online bullying and harassment, unwelcome contact from strangers, misuse of personal information, issues related to sexual content or communication, and commercial content. Looking at the media platforms where these incidents occur, about half of unpleasant online experiences happen on social networking sites such as Facebook. While children acknowledge the potential risks of social networking sites, they do not necessarily do something to avoid the risk. However, when they do feel capable of dealing with the risk, they are less fearful or worried about it.

These new findings result from the qualitative analysis of 57 focus groups and 113 personal interviews with children aged 9 to 16. In total, 349 children from nine different European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and UK) were invited to explain what they perceive as problematic or harmful online, and what they do to prevent harm from occurring.

The full report can be found here: Preventive measures: how youngsters avoid online risks

contact information

Please contact us via phone or email. We are looking forward to your comments and questions.

Carolin Bretl, project manager
Tel.: ++49-30-437277-40

Stiftung Digitale Chancen - Digital Opportunities Foundation

Office Berlin
Chausseestr. 15
10115 Berlin
Fax: ++49-30-437277 39

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