The Internet is becoming an increasingly important daily tool… Even for the youngest. At least that’s what a study by the Mozilla organization, specialist in publishing free access products online, suggests, published on Thursday, January 19.
In particular, this study reveals that 87% of French children (from 0 to 17 years) are allowed to go on the Internet for up to 4 hours a day. They mainly do this via smartphones or tablets and thus abandon the traditional computer. A statistic to qualify as 47% of parents impose a daily limit of around 1 hour. Mozilla specifies that, on average, almost 90% of children have already used the Internet in each country affected by the survey (France, USA, Canada, UK and Germany).
“A room that lacks security” for 73% of the parents
However, young French children are not the most early Internet users, far from it: if the first hours spent online in the other four countries are mainly between 5 and 8 years, the majority of children in France only discover the Internet between 8 and 11 years (29% versus 32%).
But what is the use of the youngest on the Internet? 43% of parents say this is for school purposes, 40% for watching entertainment videos and 29% for online gaming. But in fact, free time takes over education, with videos (67%) and games (61%) largely dominating school needs (40%).
So are French parents covering their faces about their children’s internet use? For 80% of them, “their children’s relationship with the Internet is considered healthy” in any case. However, the Internet is not a place without risk. Almost 3/4 of the French (73%) consider the web “a space that lacks security”. Among parents’ biggest fears, 61% cite “exposure to inappropriate content” and around 50% worry about cyberbullying and contact with online predators. Despite this, 45% of the French “at least occasionally” publish information or pictures of their children online.
Only 39% of the French use parental controls
To deal with this new fear, parents are therefore tackling online safety issues earlier and earlier. In the US, Canada and the UK, more than 20% of parents do so between the ages of 2 and 5 (compared to 8% in France). Particularly attentive are the French, more than 50% (51%) to monitor their children personally once connected, when only 18% decide to install privacy and anti-tracking applications.
The use of parental control tools, especially used in the UK (63% of parents have installed one), is still quite limited in France, as only 39% of the French use them.