Almost a third of New Zealand children have seen violent or nude images online despite Kiwi parents being the most vigilant about talking to their children about safe online habits, an international survey shows.
The results come in the annual Norton Online Family Report, released today, which paints a picture of the online habits of families from 14 countries, including New Zealand, the United States, Britain and Australia.
More than 7000 adults and 2800 children aged between eight and 17, from 14 countries, took part in research for the report.
In New Zealand 200 children and 500 adults were surveyed.
Many of the children surveyed in New Zealand had been faced with challenges such as approaches from unknown people online.
More than half (52 per cent) had someone they did not know trying to add them as a friend on a social networking site, a quarter had accidentally downloaded a virus to their home computer and 24 per cent had been bullied either online or by mobile phone.
Of the 29 per cent of children who had seen a violent or nude image, the majority (33 per cent) felt some responsibility and felt they should have been more careful, 19 per cent felt totally responsible, a quarter felt it wasn’t their fault at all, and the rest said they felt very little responsibility because it was “just bad luck”.
Netsafe executive director Martin Cocker said there were increasing “challenges” for children, particularly because they spent more time on the internet.
New Zealand parents were the most likely (84 per cent compared with 71 per cent worldwide) to have spoken to their children about practising safe online habits and more likely than most to check their childen’s usage or browser history (61 per cent compared with 47 per cent overall).
But Mr Cocker said New Zealand parents were not necessarily giving their children the right messages or monitoring what they did online.
More than a quarter of Kiwi kids said their parents had no idea what they did online. When their parents were asked the same question, only 4 per cent said they had no idea what their children did online.