Analyse and synthesis of the existing data

International researches

2.2. SAFT (Safety, Awareness, Facts and Tools): What do children do on line ?

About SAFT

SAFT - Safety, Awareness, Facts and Tools - is a pan-European project that aims to promote safe use of the Internet among children and young people

SAFT wants to teach children and teenagers how to reduce 'risk' behaviour and be responsible Internet users. It also works to empower parents, educators and the Internet industry to help children reach this goal.

The SAFT project will educate regarding problems such as inaccurate information, harmful material, intrusive advertising and online harassment, while at the same time emphasising the positive aspects of Internet use among young people.

The SAFT consortium comprises seven partners in five European countries:

  • Norway: The Norwegian Board of Film Classification, ICT Norway, MMI Norway
  • Denmark: The Media Council for Children and Young people
  • Iceland: Home and School
  • Sweden: Council on Media Violence
  • Ireland: National Centre for Technology in Education

The SAFT survey

A comparative study has been conducted in all SAFT partner countries with the aim of learning about Internet use and risk behaviour among young people. The knowledge gained from this survey has been used as the foundation of an extensive media awareness campaign.

SAFT continues to monitor children´s Internet use, and the results will be published on the national sites as well as on the international site. To read more about the research and the main results, visit web address ?

What do children do online ?

The EU Commission's Internet Action Plan supports the project.

SAFT has conducted extensive European surveys to find out more about what children actually do when they go online, and what parents know about their kid´s Internet use.

In total more than 10000 children and parents have been interviewed in this survey, lasting fom January to March 2003. The project continues to monitor children´s Internet use, and the results will be published here on our international site as well as on the different national sites.

Main objective

The main objective of the survey was to map children and young peoples risk behaviour on the Internet on both a national and an international level. The target group was children between the age of 9 and16 years.

Some of the main national findings are :

  • Children claim to know more about the Internet than their parents
  • Most children are aware that they should not give out personal information, but they are willing to give out more information than parents would allow
  • 14% of the children have met someone they first met on the net, while only 4% of the parents think the children have done this
  • 44% of the children who use the Internet have visited a pornographic website by accident or on purpose
  • 30% of the children have seen websites with violent material, while only 15% of the parents think their children have seen this
  • Children and parents agree on the benefits of the Internet as a source of information and entertainment


The children filled out questionnaires in a classroom situation. The parents responded to a questionnaire via telephone. In total 4700 interviews were conducted, 1000 interviews each in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, 700 in Ireland. The results are weighted according to national gender and age. Population distribution is collected from official statistics.


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