Over 2,000 children from schools around the country were surveyed by UKIE (a non-profit initiative)’s Digital Schoolhouse, to find out how clued in they are to things like online safety in gaming: 76% said they had complete confidence in their ability to stay safe, with only 2% reporting no confidence in their ability.
The report also revealed 63% of parents speak to their children about staying safe online, and plenty of kids update their privacy settings to keep things as safe as they can be - 67% responding that they have actually updated said settings on social media and on games consoles.
While common assumed knowledge has it that children are digital natives and are thus more comfortable in the online sphere, the survey showed that actually more than half of kids are not comfortable expressing themselves online. 45% responded with yes, while the remaining 55% was a mix of ‘no’, ‘unsure’, or ‘other’.
Meanwhile children who play games online know where to look for information on how to do so safely, with 80% of respondents answering 'yes'. On the other side, just 59% of those who don’t play online said they’d know where to find help and information.
It’s clear from the study there’s still work to be done, but it’s not as doom-and-gloom or hopeless sounding as your usual tabloid headline might have it.
Kids are informed about online safety, but it needs to be hammered home more.
They take precautions, but it would help if they took more.
And families really need to get a handle on things like screen time – and enforce it. Which, admittedly, is easier said than done.
Shahneila Saeed, director of Digital Schoolhouse and head of education at UKIE, said: “It’s reassuring to see how intuitively and smartly a lot of children are behaving when it comes to staying safe online. It reflects the impact of the excellent work that schools and industry are doing in this space.