The annual report “BEE SECURE Radar” illustrates the observations made by BEE SECURE following its activities during the 2020-2021 school year. The objective of the report is to monitor the developments in the use of ICT and its associated risks.
The report is based on the results of surveys conducted by parents and carers on their children's use of ICT and the opinions of young people (aged 17 to 30) on their personal use of ICT. The questions were about the nature and duration of the use of digital devices, as well as opinions and experiences of the risks and dangers. The surveys revealed specific trends for three age groups.
Approximately 80 per cent of the surveyed children own their own smartphone by the age of 12, typically the time when primary school ends and secondary education begins. More than 40 per cent of children had already received their first smartphone before the age of 12. Close to 100 per cent of 17- to 30-year-olds owns a smartphone.
Smartphone use exceeds three hours per day
The vast majority of 3- to 11-year-olds spend less than an hour a day (during the week) on their smartphone (76 per cent) or tablet (65 per cent). 45 per cent of parents and carers of 12- to 16-year-olds state that their child spends more than three hours per day on their smartphone during the week. This figure rises to 59 per cent during the weekend. Among 17- to 30-year-olds, no less than 69 per cent state they spend more than three hours per day on their smartphone during the weekend.
Major risks include screen time and fake news
Taking into account the assessment of the results of the two surveys conducted by the SNJ and an analysis of the type of topics covered by the requests for information, as well as advice sought from the BEE SECURE Helpline, the main risks related to the use of ICT, from the point of view of the target groups, are screen time/excessive use, misinformation (fake news), hateful or violent content, cyberbullying, cyber-crime (e-crime), age-inappropriate content, the influence of online role models and data protection/privacy risks online.
Parents and carers believe that children aged 3 to 16 are most at risk for "spending too much time online". However, this issue does not appear in the list of dangers most frequently cited by 17- to 30-year-olds. They consider misinformation and fake news as the most significant risks in terms of exposure.
The report concludes that it is important to remain attentive to these trends when children and adolescents use ICT. This knowledge helps to better assess and understand current trends in Luxembourg. New surveys and analyses will be conducted and adapted in the future.
This report, which from now on will be published on an annual basis, aims to inform and guide stakeholders. Their ultimate objective is to work together to ensure that children and young people use the internet safely.
Find out more about the work of the Luxembourg Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.