You are here:

Long-term study of safe Internet use of young children

, , ,

Computers & Education Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The Internet is an evolving medium that continuously presents new functionalities. Accordingly, also children’s Internet usage changes continuously. This requires being vigilant about related Internet risk behavior and safe Internet use. The present article presents a structured overview of Internet risks and summarizes approaches to foster safe Internet behavior. Based on a long-term cross-sectional study, Internet usage of young children has been researched. The focus is on contact risks and content risks. Based on the analysis of survey data from 10000 children, trends in their (un)safe Internet usage are studied in the years 2005–2006, 2007–2008, and 2008–2009. An Unsafe Internet Usage Index (UIUI) is calculated. The average results point at a rather low level of unsafe Internet usage. But these average results hide between-subject differences and a number of children clearly reflect risky unsafe Internet usage. Also, no consistent reduction in unsafe Internet behavior is being observed over the years. Parental and teacher control hardly increase, and hardly seem to impact the level of unsafe Internet behavior. Considering a number of limitations of the present study, directions for future research are discussed.


Valcke, M., De Wever, B., Van Keer, H. & Schellens, T. (2011). Long-term study of safe Internet use of young children. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1292-1305. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct:


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact