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October 17, 2012

28% of nine and ten-year-olds in UK use social networking websites: study

UK children are more expected to go online through a mobile or handheld device

By CBR Staff Writer

About 28% of UK 9-10 year olds and 59% of 11-12 year olds operate a social networking profile, though social networking service (SNS) including Facebook have a minimum age of 13 years, according to a new study.

The ‘National Perspectives’ report from the EU Kids Online project based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reveals that about 91% of UK children go online at school when compared to European average of 63%.

The report revealed that on an average, teen agers beteen nine and 16 years old spend 102 minutes on the internet when in European countries, the average time spent on internet is about 88 minutes.

EU Kids Online project at LSE senior researcher Dr Leslie Haddon said the report includes findings for 33 European countries, allowing direct comparisons in the experiences of children as they go online in different countries.

"These national differences mean that there is no one-size-fits-all-solution for children’s internet safety," Haddon said.

The report also revealed that UK children are more expected to go online through a mobile or handheld device, placing them as precursors of new risks connected with personal internet access and making defensive supervision by their parents even more difficult.

LSE Professor Sonia Livingstone said EU Kids Online has categorised the UK as a ‘high use, some risk’ country, an improvement on previous findings of ‘high use, high risk’.

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"It seems that the considerable multi-stakeholder efforts are bearing fruit," Livingstone said.

"But this should not be grounds for complacency, for it reveals how much effort it takes to reduce risk exposure among children."

According to report, the country also tops the European rankings for deploying filters on the internet-enabled products that children use at home.

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