EU Science Hub

How children (10-18) experienced online risks during the Covid-19 lockdown - Spring 2020

Abstract: 

Covid-19 pandemic impacted the lives of most children in Europe dramatically. The lockdown affecting most European countries in spring 2020 saw the sudden shift of most children's activities into the digital world. Since then, children's schooling, leisure time, social contacts, home life have mostly been conducted at home via digital media. Embracing new tools and services and spending several hours per day online changed dramatically daily schedules. The online world offers opportunities and new possibilities, substituting face-to-face interactions. However, it opens the door to well-known online risks (inappropriate content, overuse, cyberbullying, cyberhate, disinformation, misuse of personal data, cyber-risks, etc.) This report provides a snapshot of how children across Europe perceived and experienced different known online risks during the Covid-19 spring lockdown in eleven countries, and which steps parents and children took to mitigate and cope with these risks. In particular, changes that occurred in children’s online risk experiences during the Covid-lockdown, compared to the situation before the crisis, were identified.