Survey: Computer use up among 50% of Czech children due to pandemic

Four out of five children in the Czech Republic over the age of six use computers by themselves.


Written by ČTK Published on 06.02.2021 16:13:00 (updated on 07.02.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Half of the children in the Czech Republic are using computers more often than before because of the coronavirus epidemic, according to a survey conducted by cyber security firm Sophos. Four out of five children over the age of six use computers by themselves.

Only about 50 percent of parents are aware of possible threats in cyberspace. Three-fourths of parents believe that their child has not faced any threat on the internet. One-fifth of parents admit that they know little about it.

Children are on the computer more during the epidemic because of distance learning and the reduction of other leisure activities.

Only 5 percent of children from the first, second, and third grades of elementary school use the computer less often than before the epidemic; 52 percent use it more often. The higher their age, the larger the increase in time they spend online. Children from bigger cities and with more educated parents spend more time on computers.

By the age of ten, 94 percent of children in the Czech Republic are using the internet by themselves. Half of parents consider the security risks connected with cyber space very high (24 percent) or high (27 percent).

Twice as many mothers consider the internet a threat compared to fathers. Forty-four percent of parents have introduced some form of cyber security on the computer used by their children.

Most parents (84 percent) consider unsuitable content such as pornography to be a threat. Three-fourths of them consider unsuitable contacts on social networking sites a threat, and two-thirds see fake programs and apps and cyber bullying as a threat.

Nine percent of parents said their children faced a threat online; mostly it was suspicious contacts, stolen passwords, or videos showing violence.

Half of the parents of six-year-olds said they talked to them about cyber threats, and 80 percent of parents of ten-year-olds said they did this. More than two thirds of parents shared the view that both parents and schools are responsible for this.

The survey was carried out online last December among 330 parents of children from the first, second, and third grades of elementary schools.

According to a recently-released report from Prague’s Charles University, dangers of risk behavior such as cyber bullying or addiction to computer games have increased in connection with distance learning.

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