Safer Internet Day 2024 in Romania: parents' perspective on their children's online activities

Safer Internet Day 2024 stood out as a pivotal event in February for the safer internet programme and the entire Save the Children organisation in Romania. During a SID event, the latest sociological research findings were released aimed at understanding parents' perspectives on their children's online activity. This research delved into parents' awareness of their children's internet usage and their familiarity with relevant software and applications.

Date 2024-03-25 Author Romanian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness, sid Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, media specialist, research, policy and decision makers
Different pictures illustrating a conference with parents and young people on stage

Additionally, a practical resource was distributed by Save the Children. Titled Is your child safe online?, the resource aims to give parents an understanding of online dangers and provide them with support in guiding their children and adolescents to navigate the internet safely.

A close-up of a Romanian resource distributed on Safer Internet Day

SID efforts in Romania extended beyond mere awareness raising. By identifying online risks and offering intervention and support strategies, the goal was to contribute to the creation of a safer online environment for children and adolescents. Furthermore, actions sought to foster strong relationships between parents and children, both offline and in the online world.

Watching video content and playing games are the main activities indicated by parents when asked about their child's internet usage, with a mention that video content viewing has the highest incidence among children under five years old, at approximately 80 per cent, decreasing to around 50 per cent for teenagers. Social media usage significantly increases with age, with a particular emphasis on Instagram and WhatsApp, accessed by 86 per cent of teenagers, followed by TikTok (70 per cent). According to the data from the most recent survey conducted by Save the Children Organisation among parents in January 2024, teenagers aged 16-17 spend a considerable amount of time browsing the internet, with 34 per cent of them being online between 4-6 hours per day, and 14 per cent exceeding 6 hours per day.

During this event, representatives of various authorities provided interventions, including statistics and plans to contribute to a safer online environment. The event, which benefited from the presence of the Minister of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Embassy in Romania, gathered lots of media attention, with more than 140 mentions on TV, radio, print and online.

A comprehensive resource package addressing various online risks was also developed and distributed to schools nationwide for teachers and students. Teachers were invited to conduct in-classroom activities tailored to each educational level, focusing on analysing fictional case studies related to online risks. Additionally, the package included suggestions for parents to engage in discussions at home with their children about online safety. Up until now, more than 4,100 children have directly participated in these school-based activities.

 Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Romania or learn more about the work of the Romanian Safer Internet Centre more generally.

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