New Microsoft study: Parents have the greatest impact on young people's safety online

Preliminary results of a new Microsoft study show that adults and teens around the world overwhelmingly view parents as the most trusted and most responsible group for keeping children and teens safe online.

Nearly one third (29 per cent) of respondents said parents are the most trusted, and one in five considered parents to be the most responsible for ensuring the safety of individuals and families online. Software companies scored 9 per cent on trust and 7 per cent on responsibility, ahead of teachers (2 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively) and local government (3 per cent on both categories), but lower than internet service providers, social media companies and national governments.

These results are from the latest research associated with Microsoft's work on digital civility - encouraging safer and healthier online interactions among all individuals and communities. The study, "Civility, Safety and Interaction Online - 2017," polled teens (aged 13-17) and adults (aged 18-74) in 23 countries[1] about 20 online risks. The 2017 research builds on a similar study conducted in 2016 that polled the same age groups in 14 countries about 17 forms of online abuse. In 2017, there were 11,584 teens and adults polled in total.

The countries added to the 2017 study were Argentina, Colombia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam. This year, respondents were also asked about additional risks, namely hoaxes, scams and fraud (as a single collective online risk), as well as micro-aggressions and misogyny (micro-aggressions are defined as casual insults made toward any marginalised group in society, such as religious or ethnic minorities, women, LGBT and people with disabilities).

Final results will be made available on Safer Internet Day 2018 (which next year will take place on Tuesday, 6 February 2018 with a theme of "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you"), along with a year-over-year look at the Microsoft Digital Civility Index. The inaugural 14-country index, released on Safer Internet Day 2017, represents the lifetime exposure of respondents in each country to the 17 original online risks.

Further information, including an overview of the specific risks surveyed and a reminder of the online safety basics covered by Microsoft's Digital Civility Challenge, is available in a recent Microsoft blog article.

[1] Countries surveyed were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

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