Over a quarter of parents believe their children don’t know how to protect their information online – Firefox can help with that
Parenting has never been easy. But with a generation growing up with groundbreaking technology, families are facing new challenges along with opportunities as children interact with screens everywhere they go — while learning at school, playing with friends and for on-the-go entertainment.
We are previewing a new Mozilla Firefox survey conducted in partnership with YouGov to better understand families’ needs in the United States, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom that we will release fully in January 2023. We wanted to hear parents’ thoughts around online safety, as well as their biggest concerns and questions when their kids navigate through the sticky parts of the web before getting to the good stuff. Here are the top insights we learned from the survey:
- Many parents believe their kids have no idea how to protect themselves online. About 1 in 3 parents in France and Germany don’t think their child “has any idea on how to protect themselves or their information online.” In the U.S., Canada and the U.K., about a quarter of parents feel the same way.
As far as the safety of the internet itself, parents in the U.S. seem to be more trusting across all the countries surveyed: Almost 1 in 10 said they believe the internet is “very safe” for children. Parents in France trust the internet the least, with almost 75% finding it to be unsafe to some degree.
- U.S. parents spend the most time online compared to parents in other countries, and so do their children. Survey takers in the U.S. reported an average of 7 hours of daily internet use via web browsers, mobile apps and other means. Asked how many hours their children spend online on a typical day, U.S. parents said an average of 4 hours. That’s compared to 2 hours of internet use among children in France, where parents reported spending about 5 hours online everyday. No matter where a child grows up, they spend more time online a day as they get older.
- Yes, toddlers use the web. Parents in North America and Western Europe reported introducing their kids to the internet some time between 2 and 8 years old. North America and the U.K. skew younger, with kids first getting introduced online between 2 and 5 for about a third of households. Kids are introduced to the internet in France and Germany when they are older, between 8 to14 years old.
Overall, the survey showed parents to be content with the time in which they chose to introduce their children to internet safety. Although in retrospect, over 1 in 5 parents in the U.S, Canada and France would have preferred to do so at an even younger age.
Most parents speak to their children about internet safety between the ages of 5 and 8. Whatever age, these conversations don’t have to be difficult. OK, it may be a teeny-bit awkward – but you can lean on Firefox to help out with a few starter topics to get the conversation started. To find out more about starting a Tech Talk, here is our Firefox guide to help steer the conversation in the right direction.
This survey was conducted among parents between the ages of 25 and 55 years old living in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and the U.K., who have children between 5 and 17 years old. The survey interviewed 3,699 participants between Sept 21 – Sept. 29, 2022.
The internet is a great place for families. It gives us new opportunities to discover the world, connect with others and just generally make our lives easier and more colorful. But it also comes with new challenges and complications for the people raising the next generations. Mozilla wants to help families make the best online decisions, whatever that looks like, with our latest series, The Tech Talk.