Kids becoming more internet savvy

Most kids know what cyberbullying is according to a Yoursphere survey
Kerry Butters

November 11, 2011

A new survey carried out by kids’ social networking site Yoursphere has found that children between the ages of 9 and 15 years are pretty clued up on the issue of cyberbullying.

Following an online educational campaign, the site wanted to see whether or not the messages it wanted to get across had been absorbed by users of the site.

They found that 86% of kids knew what cyberbullying was, and the various ways it can be carried out, for example by text, email or online posts.

This, says the social media site, means that children who “can define cyberbullying” are more likely to report it if it happens to them.

84% of those asked said that if someone was nasty to them online, they would ignore the person and tell an adult. This is an encouraging result as bullies often get away with their behaviour as victims are too scared to tell.

The survey also found that whilst 89% of kids knew that there’s an age restriction for sites such as Facebook and MySpace, only just over half knew what that age was. One in 10 believed there to be no age restriction at all, whilst 29% thought they had to be 18 or over to join.

68% of those questioned said that they knew better than to give out personal information such as phone numbers, date of birth and addresses online, illustrating that kids are becoming more aware about online safety all the time.

However, 11% of children believed it was fine to post all of that information on their profile, proving that more education is still necessary.

74% of kids said that if they received an inappropriate photo online, they would tell their parents, but 22% said they would just delete it.

Importantly, when asked what they would do if someone they didn’t know in real life asked for a phone number or to meet them in secret, 88% of kids said they would tell an adult.

However, while this is encouraging to an extent, the minority who would meet a stranger still need further education on the dangers involved.

“Children who are lonely, bullied, seeking attention, or angry at their parents may be more likely to meet up with online strangers, and are thus more at risk,” Yoursphere pointed out.

The Yoursphere site promotes online safety and has a sister-site for parents aimed at helping them to understand the risks faced by kids online and solutions for dealing with them, as well as recognising the signs when children are being bullied.


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