Digital Agenda: Kids are using social network from young ages, unaware of privacy risks

Digital & Media, Media, Studies

77% of 13-16 year olds and 38% of 9-12 year olds in the EU have a profile on a social networking site, according to a pan-European survey carried out for the European Commission.

A quarter of children who use social networking sites say their profile is set to “public” meaning that everyone can see it, and many of these display their address and/or phone number.

The survey of 25,000 young people in 25 European countries, published today by the EUKidsOnline network, shows that 38% of 9-12 year olds say they have a profile on social networking sites, ranging from 70% in The Netherlands to 25% in France. Social networks are even more popular among teenagers with 77% of 13-16 year olds saying they have a profile.

15% of 9-12 year olds say they have more than 100 contacts on their profile, with a high of 47% in Hungary. Among 13-16 year olds, Belgian, Danish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish and UK children are more likely to have more than 100 contacts than children from other countries. Many children have public profiles open for everyone to see.