In brief

Children in the UK have had internet access at both school and home for a relatively long time, so that internet use is thoroughly embedded in all aspects of their lives. They spend longer online than the European average. But British parents tend to manage their children’s online safety by taking a restrictive approach. This protects children from many of the risks but also limits the development of their online levels of skills and opportunities.



  • The UK findings have informed the policy development, guidance and initiatives of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), which coordinates national activities across this multi-stakeholder domain.
  • Sonia Livingstone is Evidence Champion for UKCCIS, and works with its Evidence Group to disseminate the latest findings via the Safer Internet Centre. She was awarded an OBE for this work in 2014.
  • Recent highlights include a TEDx talk on 'How children engage with the internet', a consultation response to the UK government’s inquiry into online safety, advice to UNICEF, collaboration with Vodafone’s Digital Parenting and an interview for the American Psychological Association. 
  • The Net Children Go Mobile UK report compared 2013 data to that in the EU Kids Online 2010 survey
  • In December 2014 the EU Kids Online UK qualitative report was published.

Reports and resources


Livingstone, S., Mascheroni, G., and Staksrud, E. (2018) European research on children’s internet use: Assessing the past, anticipating the future. New Media & Society, 2018, Vol. 20(3) 1103–1122 doi: 10.1177/1461444816685930. [Text and Text]

Livingstone, S. (2018) La vida online de la infancia. In Jimenez, E., Garmendia, M., and Casado, M. A. (Eds.) Entre selfies y whatsapps: Oportunidades y riesgos para la infancia y la adolescencia conectada (pp.13-29). Barcelona: Gesida.

Livingstone, S. (2017) Children and young people’s lives online. In J. Brown (eds.) Online Risk to Children: Impact, Protection and Prevention (pp.23-36). Wiley: New Jersey.

Haddon, L. and Livingstone, S. (2017) Risks, opportunities and risky opportunities: How children make sense of the online environment. In Brooks, P., and Blumberg, F. (Eds.) Cognitive Development in Digital Contexts (275-302). San Diego, Cal.: Elsevier.

Livingstone, S., and Third, A. (2017) Guest editor for special issue, ‘Children and young people’s rights in the digital age’. New Media & Society, 19(5). [Text]

Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Görzig, A., and Ólafsson, K. (2014) EU Kids Online II: A large-scale quantitative approach to the study of European children's internet use and online risks and safety. SAGE Research Methods Cases. London: Sage. [Text]

Haddon, L., and Livingstone, S. (2014) The relationship between offline and online risks. Young people, media and health: risks and rights: Nordicom Clearinghouse Yearbook 2014 (pp.21-32). Eds. C. von Feilitzen and J. Stenersen. Goteborg: Nordicom. [Text]

Livingstone, S., and Smith, P. (2014) Annual research review: children and young people in the digital age: The nature and prevalence of risks, harmful effects, and risk and protective factors, for mobile and internet usage. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Annual Research Review 2014, 55(6): 635-654. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12197 [Text]

Livingstone, S., Kirwil, L., Ponte, C., and Staksrud, E. (2014) In their own words: what bothers children online? European Journal of Communication. 29(3): 271-288. doi: 10.1177/0267323114521045 [Text]

Livingstone, S. (2014) Developing social media literacy: How children learn to interpret risky opportunities on social network sites. Communications. The European Journal of Communication Research, 39(3): 283–303. [Text]

Livingstone, S., and O’Neill, B. (2014) Children’s rights online: challenges, dilemmas and emerging directions. In van der Hof, S., van den Berg, B., and Schermer, B. (eds), Minding Minors Wandering the Web: Regulating Online Child Safety (pp.19-38). Berlin: Springer. [Full text]

Livingstone, S. (2014) Online risk harm, risk and vulnerability: Updated UK risk data, The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Annual Conference, London, March 2014. (Full text]

Livingstone, S., and Bulger, M. (2013) A Global Agenda for Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: Recommendations for Developing UNICEF's Research Strategy. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research. [Full text]

Bulger, M., and Livingstone, S. (2013) Media literacy research and policy in Europe: A review of recent, current and planned activities. Report of a seminar organised by the COST Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies Action, Brussels, September 2013. [Full text]

Staksrud, E., Ólafsson, K., and Livingstone, S. (2013) Does the use of social networking sites increase children’s risk of harm? Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1): 40-50. [Full text]

Livingstone, S., Ólafsson, K., and Staksrud, E. (2013) Risky social networking practices among ‘underage’ users: Lessons for evidence-based policy. Journal for Computer-Mediated Communication. 18(3): 303-320. [Full text]

Livingstone, S. (2013) Online risk, harm and vulnerability: Reflections on the evidence base for child internet safety policy. ZER: Journal of Communication Studies, 18: 13-28. [Full text]

Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., Schor, J., Sefton-Green, J., and Watkins, C. (2013). Connected learning: an agenda for research and design. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. [Full text]

Livingstone, S., and Wang, Y. (2013) Media Literacy and the Communications Act: What has been achieved and what should be done? A 2013 update. LSE Media Policy Project Brief 2. London: LSE. [Full text]

Livingstone, S. (2012) Critical reflections on the prospects for ICT in education. Oxford Review of Education, 38 (1): 9-24. [Full text

Livingstone, S., Papaioannou, T., Mar Grandío Pérez, M., and Wijnen, C. (2012) Critical insights in European media literacy research and policy, Media Studies, 3(6): 1-13. [Full text]

Livingstone, S. (2012) Challenges of comparative research: Cross-national and transnational approaches to the globalising media landscape. In Esser, F. & Hanitzsch, T. (Eds.), Handbook of Comparative Communication Research (pp.415-429). New York: Routledge. [Full text

Livingstone, S., and Haddon, L. (2012) Theoretical framework for children’s internet use. In Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., and Görzig, A. (Eds.) Children, Risk and Safety on the Internet: Research and policy challenges in comparative perspective (pp.1-14). Bristol: The Policy Press. [Full text]

Livingstone, S., Hasebrink, U., and Görzig, A. (2012) A general model of determinants of risk and safety. In Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., and Görzig, A. (Eds.) Children, Risk and Safety on the Internet: Research and policy challenges in comparative perspective (pp.323-337). Bristol: The Policy Press. [Full text]

Livingstone, S., Davidson, J., Bryce, J., Millwood Hargrave, A., and Grove-Hills, J. (2012) Children’s online activities, risks and safety: The UK evidence base. London: UK Council for Child Internet Safety. [Full text]

Livingstone, S., Palmer, T., with others (2012) Identifying vulnerable children online and what strategies can help them. Report of the seminar arranged by the UKCCIS Evidence Group, March. [Full text]

Ringrose, J., Gill, R., Livingstone, S., and Harvey, L. (2012) A qualitative study of children, young people and ‘sexting’: A report prepared for the NSPCC. [Full text

Carr, J., Walden, I., and Livingstone, S. (2012) The legal basis of children’s and young people’s engagement with the internet. Seminar report. A workshop held for UK legal and child protection experts, October 2012. [Full text]

Livingstone, S. (2011). Positioning children’s interests within debates over internet governance. In von Feilitzen, C., Carlsson, U., and Bucht, C. (eds.) New questions, new insights, new approaches: contributions to the research forum at the World Summit on Media for Children and Youth 2010 (161-173). Goteborg: Nordicom. [Full text]


Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone, Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE, is author/editor of 18 books and many academic articles on media audiences, children and the internet, media regulation, domestic contexts of media use and media literacy. She serves on the Executive Board of the UK Council of Child Internet Safety.


Dr Leslie Haddon is a senior researcher in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE. Over the last 20 years he has worked chiefly on the social shaping and consumption of information and communication technologies.

Up to five areas of expertise: digital divides, mobile phones, internet use, cross-national research, teenagers. 


Dr Ellen Helsper, associate professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE, used to lead on the design, analysis and coordination of the Oxford Internet Surveys and the World Internet Project.


Dr Mariya Stoilova is a Post-doctoral Research Officer at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an Associate Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London.



Dr Anke Görzig is a visiting fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE and lecturer in psychology at University of West London. She was formerly survey research officer for the data collection of EU Kids Online II and conducts ongoing analyses and data linkage of the EU Kids Online data with a focus on cyberbullying.


John Carr is one of the world’s leading authorities on young people’s use of digital technologies. He has advised the UN (ITU) and the European Union. In the UK John is a member of the Executive Board of UKCCIS. John blogs for the Huffington Post and at his own site. 


Dr Leslie Haddon
Department of Media and Communications
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
tel: +44 20 8441 2959 
fax: +44 20 84412959