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Understanding the online behavior and risks of children: results of a large-scale national survey on 10-18 year olds

by   Evangelia Daskalaki, et al.

The Internet has opened up new horizons of knowledge, communication and entertainment in our lives. Through this, young people are presented with a wealth of opportunities and activities that can enhance their skills and empower their knowledge and creativity. However, the online engagement of young people often comes with significant risks, encountered by children accidentally or deliberately. The emergence of new online services at an unprecedented speed and innovation brings the need, internationally, for a constant monitoring and investigation of the rapidly changing landscape and the associated emerging risk factors that could potentially jeopardize children's development, opportunities and lives. The Greek Safer Internet Center conducted two large-scale surveys to understand children's internet engagement, aiming to contribute towards improved child protection policies that could guide the efforts of key stakeholders towards a safer cyberspace. The first survey took place at the end of 2018, with the approval of the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, and was conducted online among 14,000 pupils aged 10-18 years from 400 schools spread in five different urban areas of Greece. A follow up survey was realized the following year, among 13,000 students of the same age group from 500 school units in six different prefectures of Greece. To our knowledge, it is the first tie national surveys of such scale are conducted in Greece. The paper presents the analysis of the collected data, and describe the underlined methodology based on which the survey was formulated and conducted according to international standards, around specific thematic areas, namely internet use and online behavior, parental engagement, confidence level of children, digital literacy, social media, and online risks. The results were mainly analysed based on educational level and gender.


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