Children Misunderstand Public Nature Of The Internet, Survey Finds

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Toronto, ON – A new Internet Safety study conducted by Microsoft Canada and Ipsos Reid provides new insight into the way children use the Internet, how they perceive the risks of sharing personal information online and how much parents understand about their child’s online behaviour.

Issues relating to privacy are of particular concern as 70 per cent of children age 10 to 14 believe the information they put online and send to friends is private and 37 per cent of girls and 22 per cent of boys in this age range have emailed their picture to someone.

Other important findings from the Microsoft Canada and Ipsos Reid survey relate to Internet use outside of the home. The study found that 85 per cent of children age 10 to 14 who have Internet access at home also have access to the Internet outside the home and that 15 per cent of these children visit websites that their parents consider off limits.

Highlights from the survey of children age 10-14 with Internet access at home include:

  • 33 per cent of children age 10 to 14 spend 6-10 hours a week online while 26 per cent spend more than 10 hours a week online.
  • 25 per cent of children would feel safe getting together with a person they have only met online and talked to for a long time online.
  • 17 per cent of children say they have used the Internet in the middle of the night.
  • 11 per cent have been asked by a stranger for personal information while online such as their full name, home address and phone number.
  • One in 10 youth do not know all of the people on their friends/messaging list.
  • Two in five 10 year olds always participate in instant messaging when online.
  • 26% per cent of children age 10 to 14 have seen hateful messages
  • 96 per cent of parents have spoken with their children about dangers to be aware of online.

The Microsoft Canada and Ipsos Reid report surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 children from age 10 to 14 who have Internet access at home, and 600 parents of children age 10 to 14 who have Internet access at home. The study focused on Canadian children’s access to the Internet and their behaviours and experiences while online including stranger danger, cyber bullying and privacy issues.


Children Misunderstand Public Nature Of The Internet, Survey Finds

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Contact

Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America

Ipsos
1.778.373.5136
elen.alexov@ipsos.com