Children
The latest European Commission Eurobarometer survey strikes me because it is so obvious: children are not as vulnerable online as their parents fear. The picture that comes through is one of surprising sophistication:

“They are well aware of the problems of viruses, hackers, paedophiles and online scams, and most claim that threatening text messages are no different to any other form of bullying and admit to being victims and perpetrators.

The older children get lighter supervision from their parents. But they recognise that parents are right to supervise them and only 12-14 year-old girls get angry when Mum wants to read what they’ve said in an email.

Children worry about damaging the family computer with a virus, running out of credit on their mobiles, becoming internet addicts and damaging their eyesight or losing sleep if they stay online too long.

They know not to give out their email address or mobile number to strangers and never to agree to a meeting with a stranger, although some admit to breaking these rules or know of friends or apocryphal friends of friends who have.”

The study covered children (age groups 9-10 and 12-14) in 29 countries (the 27 member states plus Iceland and Norway) and was based on group discussions.

- Download study (pdf, 540 kb, 77 pages)
- Read short article

(via textually.org)