Two-Thirds Of New Zealand Primary Schoolers Are Talking To Friends Online

The Digital Playground, the third stage of AVG’s year-long Digital Diaries research program, further delves into the increasingly digitally-literate group of 6-to-9-year olds and their parents in Australia, New Zealand, the northern hemisphere, and Japan to find that:
• New Zealand children average 3.7 hours online each week, which is more than the worldwide average of 3.5 hours per week. Australian children average 3.9
• A staggering 67 percent of New Zealand 6-to-9-year-olds use some kind of kids’ social network such as Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters or WebKinz.
• Australian children are the highest users of email at 28 percent, against the one in five global average use.
· 36 percent of New Zealand 6 to 9-year-olds talk to their friends on the Internet. On balance, parents of children that do talk to friends via the Internet feel that this has a positive impact on their social skills.
• Despite being underage, 12 percent of New Zealand’s 6 to 9-year-olds are on Facebook, according to their parents. While this figure does not mean they have profiles, they are still using the functionality.
• Cyberbullying, what their parents considered objectionable or aggressive online behaviour, has been experienced by 14 percent of New Zealand children surveyed.
• Across those surveyed, almost one in six 6-to-9-year-olds and one in five 8-to-9-year olds have experienced cyberbullying. The problem gets worse as the kids get older.
• Gratifyingly only 2 percent of parents admit they do not know what their children are doing online, but 58 percent are still not fully-informed nor understand their children’s online social networks.
• New Zealand households equate with the global average of 56 percent of family computers having parental controls or safety programs in place. This indicates there are still too many un-supervised online activities. Perhaps those with un-supervised computers should consider looking at this guide to online safety to ensure that their children are staying safe online. The internet is accessible to so many people all over the world, so children never know who they’re talking to. Parents need to monitor children’s online activity more consistently.

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