The EU Kids Online III project, supported by the European Commission's Safer Internet programme and based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has released a report which analyses industry strategies to protect young people using the Internet from online risks.
"Towards a better Internet for children", the report was published on 10 July 2012, and is based on interviews conducted with 25 thousand children in 25 European countries. The report finds that online reporting tools are not working.
One in five children and young people have come into contact with potentially problematic online content such as pro-anorexia websites or suicide-related sites. Meanwhile, children and young people who have reported problems resulting from online contacts were not satisfied with the help they received, reinforcing the premise that the industry needs to develop tools which are better suited to helping children.
In Portugal, only 11 percent of children use online tools to report situations that upset them on the Internet, which is below the European percentage of 13 percent.
From a list of nine worries about their children, European parents highlighted performance at school at the top of their concerns, followed by road accidents, bullying (online and offline) and crime. Online risks - being contacted by strangers or seeing inappropriate material - are given in fifth and sixth place. One in three parents say that they worry about these risks a lot. Worries related to alcohol and drugs, problems with the police and sexual activities come at the bottom of the list.
Portuguese parents are the most worried about risks on the Internet. Portugal stands out as the European country where parents are most worried about online risks: 65 percent are worried about their children being contacted by strangers and 61 percent are worried about inappropriate content. Active parental mediation of Internet use by children and young people reduces the probability of exposure to these and other online risks.