FutureFive NZ - 62% of children have had a negative online experience

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62% of children have had a negative online experience

According to a survey about online behaviour, children growing up in today’s online world are all too vulnerable to “negative experiences”.

The Norton Online Family Report looked at the online behaviour of children and their experiences compared with parents’ knowledge and understanding of these. It aims to highlight the gaps between parents and children and offer advice on how to bridge them.

‘Angry’, ‘upset’ and ‘afraid’ were some of the words children in the report used to describe their online experiences. In New Zealand 53% felt personally responsible for their negative online experiences and New Zealand children on average have 64 online friends, which is the fourth highest amount among surveyed countries.

These negative experiences include downloading a virus, responding to online scams, having someone they don’t know online try to meet them in the real world, having someone try to get them to do something online they thought was wrong, seeing violent/nude images, receiving ‘sexts’ of someone they know; being bullied via mobile; being bullied via computer or receiving ‘sexts’ of someone they don’t know.

Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate, said, “Parents do worry about predators, but they seem to be overlooking more common threats, such as cyberbullying. And more than half of all families are putting themselves at risk through children’s unchecked downloading behaviour.

“Technology is part of the solution, but a lot of it is about good parenting. The singularly most effective way to help keep your children safe online is to have an ongoing dialogue with them. There’s so much we can do to make sure our children have a positive experience online. This report shows us where to focus our efforts right now.”

You can download and read the full report here.

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