Kids online and mobile at a younger and younger age
In Europe, kids access the internet on a daily basis at the age of eight. Their favourite place to surf is in their bedrooms, on a mobile device. Their online practices are often limited to a small number of activities, but some expose them to risks.
At a very tender age, our kids gain access to mobile devices that open the gates of the internet – at any time and anywhere
According to the European survey Net Children Go Mobile, published in February 2014:
- They get their first mobile at the age of 9 and their first smartphone at 12. 18% of 8-11 year-olds and 26% of 12-15 year-olds have their own tablets. At the age of 11 and 12, before the legal threshold (13), 57% of our kids have a profile on a social network,
- Eight in ten kids surf everyday at home, preferably in their bedrooms. 45% use a smartphone to go online, 30% a tablet.
Music, videos and social networks are kids’ top online destinations, ahead of homework-related searches and games.
According to a survey of 2,500 children ages 9 to 16 in five European countries, the most common risks they face are:
- bullying and cyberbullying:
- 27%: bullying
- 14%: cyberbullying
- 30% have made contact with someone online
- 12% also met in real life a person first contacted online
- sexually explicit images:
- 29% have already seen them (on and offline)
- sexually explicit messages (kids over 11):
- 13% have been exposed
- 21% of the children questioned have been distressed by an online experience.
The mobile internet habits of 9 to 16-year-olds and their exposure to online risks are correlated to cultural and educational practices:
- Young Danes who surf the internet at the age of 6 and enjoy a high level of autonomy are the most exposed to risks, as are Romanian kids, who are not so closely watched by their parents.
- Belgian, Irish, Portuguese and English children are less exposed, because parents more actively control and limit their use of the internet.