Online-keskkonnas valitsevad riskid ja nende teadvustamine 9-12-aastaste laste seas



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Tartu Ülikool



The main objective of this paper was to map the knowledge and attitudes about internet risks among 9-12 year old Estonian children. The empirical and theoretical part of this study gives an overview of theoretical basis of generational gap as well as childrens attitudes and beliefs about internet risks, also classifies online-risks and possibilities and at the end gives latest research results of parents concerns and attitudes towards childrens internet use. A qualitative study was conducted among 11 Tallinn´s 9-12 year old children to find answers to research questions. Results of this study are described in the second part of the paper. 93% of the 6-17 year old children in Estonia use internet. Also parents of estonian children are very frequent internet users compared to rest of the countries in EU. 91% of the parents use internet and 71% of them does it every day. Besides the fact that estonian children are very frequent users of internet they also spend a significant amount of time online each time. Little bit less than one third (28%) of the children spend every day more than 3 hours online, other third (30%) spends online nearly 3 hours, 1- 2 hours in a day spend online also almost 30% of the children. Only one tenth of the children spend less than an hour a day on the web. The more opportunities children experience online, the more risks they are likely to encounter. Research shows that very many children and adults have come accross disturbing content of the internet and usually they lack of knowledge, how to handle the emotional stress it causes. Also parents don´t know how to recognize possible threat to their children, how to intervene and how to help. Comparing estonian studies to the studies conducted in the rest of the Europe it is evident, that Estonia has high risk potential when internet risks are in concern. Even though Estonian children have high risk potential, their parents are not giving them much support. Estonian parents don´t have a habit of talking to their children about internet risks. Also they use a lot less strategies of parental control over their childrens internet use than other parents in Europe. According to international research group EU Kids Online high risk countries like Estonia need desperatly rise of awareness about internet risks. Next a review of findings of interviews conducted with 9-12 year old children. Research question no 1. What internet risks do 9-12 year old children know and consider to be problematic? Children in researched age group are quite aware of the risks they might come across in internet. Mainly they use internet for playing games, communicating and listening and downloading music. Within these possibilities they could name risks involved rather well. They were aware of the viruses and adware, giving personal information to strangers, cyberbullying, illegal file downloads, harrasment and disturbing content of the internet. However it is important to mention that children did not find these risks to be much of a threat to them. Research question no 2. What kinds of risks have children experienced themselves? Almost all the children have experienced viruses in their computer and some other technical problems. There were some contacts of risks causing possible emotional distress like cyberbullying, sexual harrasment etc. Some were experienced by interviewd children themselves, others by their friends. Research question no 3. Where do they get information about internet risks? If they get any information at all it comes from their parents or peers, some amount also from the internet itself. Although majority of children could not remember any case of some adult giving them advice about internet risks. They knew about risks but couldn´t rembember how it had reached their knowledge. Research question no 4. Do children sense parental concern and control? Direct control is present mostly when younger children are involved and those children who do not have personal computer in their room, but instead use family computer in family area of their home. Children, who have personal computer in their room said usually that they can use internet as they please and parents don´t intervene. Research question no 5. Where do children turn for support if they encounter problems on the internet? Children ask help from their parents when technical problems occur. Since they had not felt emotionally disturbed by any incident they had come accross on the internet they never had asked their parents help or advice in matters concerning bullying, harrasment or grooming. Research question no 6. Do they find their parents to be competent advisors about internet? Even though interviewed children were rather young, several of them felt that they were more competent in computing than their parents. Some children mentioned that they cannot think of any issues in what parents could help them or where they would ask for help.


H Social Sciences (General)