In order to support parents in the media education of their children, Google has put together instructions for dealing with media and recommendations for digital learning opportunities in the new “Safety Center for Families”. To this end, the company works with educational specialists and cooperation partners. Partner of Family security centers include the voluntary self-regulation multimedia service provider (FSM), Germany safe in the net (DsiN), klicksafe, fragfinn.de, the number against Kummer and the eco association.
Survey among legal guardians as a basis
This was preceded by a survey by the Google Safety Engineering Center (GSEC) and Statista in Germany with around 1,000 legal guardians. This had shown that more than 80 percent of those questioned are concerned about the online safety of their children. 92 percent rated their own use of online media as “safe” to “very safe”, but half wanted support with their children’s media education.
87 percent stated that they were “well” to “very well” informed about their children’s activities on the Internet. In addition, 89 percent would occasionally or regularly talk to their children about their Internet usage behavior.
84 percent of parents see responsibility for the online safety of their children with themselves. This was followed with 50 percent by media providers and platforms as those responsible and more than a third believe that the legislature should ensure online safety. In order to ensure the safety of their children, 44 percent of the survey participants would like information materials, digital tools, stricter laws (58 percent) and 72 percent want, among other things, age restrictions for websites.
Smartphones in primary school
According to the parents surveyed, 23 percent of three to five year olds and 35 percent of six to eight year olds already have their own tablet. 30 percent of children in both age groups use their parents ‘and siblings’ smartphones and tablets. Among the nine to twelve year olds, as many as 74 percent have their own smartphone. 91 percent of 13 to 15 year olds have their own smartphone. 45 percent of the children received their first smartphone while they were still in primary school.
The survey also showed that, according to the parents surveyed, more than a third of three to five-year-olds use the Internet every day – every second of six to eight-year-olds. 90 percent of 13 to 15 year olds use the internet every day.
Most children (79 percent) watch videos while they are online, 68 percent play games and 55 percent would communicate with friends, according to their parents. 41 percent use the Internet for homework or to do research. 36 percent use social media.
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Older children less regulated
For children between the ages of three and twelve, 90 percent of parents laid down rules for online use, compared with only 70 percent for 13 to 15-year-olds. Despite the regulations, however, 22 percent of parents worried about contact with strangers or that their children might see inappropriate content. 13 percent of respondents fear online risks such as cyberbullying, 10 percent fear excessive use and fraud.
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