Images of violence, pornography… Even if parents appear to be becoming more aware of the dangers of exposing their children to potentially disturbing content on the Internet, they remain powerless.
According to a study conducted by Ifop for Kaspersky France, a quarter of them say they would not know how to help their child if he was a victim or perpetrator of cyberstalking, the results of which will be revealed this Thursday, November 4 in honour of the International Day for Combating Violence and Bullying in Schools.
According to this study, which was conducted using a self-administered online questionnaire with 960 parents of children in elementary school or college between September 17 and 22, eight out of ten parents (82 per cent) are concerned about their child’s use of or potential use of the Internet.
Even the youngest children are exposed to inappropriate content for their age. Sixty-nine per cent of parents (69%) admit that their child has already been exposed to violent, shocking, or pornographic images. This exposure is frequently amplified at the start of college.
According to their parents, children are not only more likely to have Internet access, but they are also more than half (53 per cent) more likely to be registered on at least one social network (primarily Snapchat and TikTok). For college students, the figure rises to 76%.
According to the findings of this survey, this overexposure is associated with an increased risk of cyberstalking. Twenty-one per cent of parents of middle school students report that their child or a peer has been bullied online. 4 per cent are concerned that their child has been a direct victim.
To protect their children, 80 per cent of parents claim to have made their child aware of the dangers of the Internet, and 19 per cent admit to creating a fake account on a social network to monitor it.
Source of family conflicts
This concern, combined with children’s desire to evolve on the Internet, is a source of family conflict. Almost half of all parents (48%) agree.
Another study recently revealed that 20% of children and adolescents had been victims of cyberstalking. According to a study conducted in collaboration with the association e-Enfance by the Caisse d’Épargne, one of the causes of online harassment is jealousy and revenge (45 per cent). “Differences in taste and behaviour” is another.
Even if these studies are only based on declarative remarks, they allow us to put numbers to worrying behaviours. In addition to cyberstalking, there is harassment that occurs on the premises of the establishment, such as insults, physical violence, bullying, or even racketeering.
According to a study published in 2015 by the Department of Evaluation, Prospective, and Performance (DEPP), 700,000 students are victims of school bullying, half of whom are severely bullied, or 5 to 6 per cent of all students. Since 2019, students’ right to attend school without fear of harassment has been enshrined in law.