An Analysis of Irish Primary School Children's Internet Usage and the Associated Safety Implications

An Analysis of Irish Primary School Children's Internet Usage and the Associated Safety Implications

Derek O’Reilly (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Caroline O’Neill (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2008070105
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The Internet is becoming widely available and increasingly important in the modern world. Because of this, it is very important that children start to familiarize themselves with the Internet at a young age. As technology is becoming increasingly part of our daily lives, computers and the Internet have been adopted into schools. The sea of information and learning activities available on the Internet has the potential to greatly help in the development of young minds. However, the question remains: how safe an environment is the Internet for young children? Children might not see any dangers beyond the physical environment where they live. Therefore, the Internet can be an unsafe place for them to venture into. Children can be targeted by a wide number of Internet risks. For these reasons, the problem of how to keep children who are using the Internet safe must be solved. This article identifies the potential risks associated with primary school children using the Internet. This article evaluates the level of understanding of Internet safety that children have. We identify what children use the Internet for and what information they are willing to reveal while online. The findings of this article are based on analysis of a survey carried out on 645 Irish primary school children in February 2007.

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