Research findings are vital to provide the evidence base to inform stakeholder actions designed to improve children’s online safety. Evidence can help estimate the scale and scope of problems, and provides an often necessary corrective to unfounded public anxieties, informing policy and practice. It can track changes in children’s practices, informing the updating of advice, helping to frame and understand complex questions to which we lack common-sense answers – for example, about the nature of children’s vulnerability in digital media. It is also important to know where gaps in the evidence base exist.
The UKCCIS Evidence Group identifies, evaluates and collates information from pertinent research findings, and communicates this to stakeholders with the aim of keeping UKCCIS, and the wider public, up to date.
In 2010 and again in 2012, the Evidence Group reviewed the available research, recognising that children’s engagement with the internet and associated digital media continues to change, with new risks and safety issues arising and, fortunately, new research conducted to guide policy and practice. By early 2017 it was judged timely to review the available research afresh which led to the report Children's online activities, risks and safety.