Portuguese children and young people among the most confident in using the internet

  • Awareness
  • 10/03/2020
  • Portuguese Safer Internet Centre

The results of the European study "EU Kids Online 2020" were released on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, for the Safer Internet Day. In the article below, the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre (SIC) analyses the results obtained by Portuguese children and young people.

This survey was carried out in a total of 19 countries. Between 2017 and 2019, 25,101 children and young people (aged 9-16) were surveyed on their digital experiences. The study covered a wide variety of areas, such as cyberbullying, harmful content, misuse of personal data, excessive use of the internet, sexting, and so on.

According to the results, most children and young people in Europe use smartphones to connect to the internet "several times a day" or "every day or almost every day". The statistics highlighted a substantial increase (compared to figures collected in 2010) in the use of smartphones and in internet access. In some countries, such as Portugal, the time that children and young people spend online has more than doubled. Portugal is also one of the countries where more children and young people display confidence when dealing with risks encountered online. Furthermore, Portugal is one of the countries where respondents least associate risky situations with possible damaging outcomes.

It was also on Safer Internet Day that the results of the international study International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS 2018) were released. This study, which involved eighth graders from 11 countries, aimed to explore the extent to which schools are preparing students to deal with the challenges emerging from the digital world. In what regards Portuguese young people and as far as online safety is concerned, the results show that they appear in a prominent position in three of the four parameters studied, portraying values well above the global average countries.

In this study, Portuguese young people say that they recognise the importance of changing their passwords regularly (18 per cent above average) and acknowledge that at school, they have learned about the importance of checking the origin of e-mails and information they receive (23 per cent above average). In addition, 91 per cent of the surveyed Portuguese young people reveal they have learned that it is necessary to log out every time they use computers which are shared with colleagues (10 per cent above average).

As for the responsible use of social networks, the percentage reached by the Portuguese students (85 per cent) was lower than that reached by Finnish students (88 per cent), but 10 per cent above the average value obtained by the 11 countries that participated in the study (75 per cent). ICILS is an international study that assesses the digital literacy of young people (aged 13-14). It was the first time Portugal participated in this study, with over 3,000 students from 215 schools across the country involved.

For more information about Portuguese Safer Internet Day activities, visit the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre's Safer Internet Day profile page.

Find out more information about the work of the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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