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Sonia Livingstone    Leslie Haddon

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EU Kids Online

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In brief

Swiss children use the internet a little less than the average for all European children. But they are more likely to use it via mobile devices, confronting parents with new challenges when it comes to mediation. Only a small fraction of children would like their parents to take more interest in what they do online. Many parents would like to do more regarding their children’s internet use. According to parents, information on what to do online should be provided mainly by the child’s school.



The Swiss findings were very well appreciated by scholars, the government and child welfare groups. They addressed the previous lack of empirical data on adolescents' internet use and risk taking in a systematic way.

Swiss team

Sara Singer CH

Dr des Sara Signer Widmer is a research associate at the University of Zurich's Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research (IPMZ). Her research interests include children and media, new media, media literacy, media socialisation, media and migration and media pedagogy. She is also a teaching associate at the University of Education (PHZH) in the Department of Media Education.

Martin Hermida CH

Martin Hermida is research and teaching assistant at the University of Zurich IPMZ -Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research. His main research interests are usage and the effects of the internet, as well as the related literacies required by users in this new and challenging digital environment.


Professor Dr Heinz Bonfadelli is full professor at the Institute for Mass Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich. He has conducted research and published in various areas like uses and effects of mass media and the knowledge gap; health communication campaigns; the dgital divide; mass media and youth; reading behavior of children and adolescents; science-, risk- and environmental communication; media and migration.



The new Swiss report, with data based on the EU Kids Online questionnaire, focuses on online risk experiences and how children and young people deal with these: 

  • Parents in Switzerland are largely unaware of the potential dangers which their children are exposed to online. Twenty-eight per cent of children who have seen sexual images were bothered by it. Most of the affected children (30%) respond passively, hoping that the problem will resolve itself.
  • Five per cent of Swiss children are affected by cyberbullying. This takes place especially on social networks. Most parents, especially parents of sons, do not know that their child is a target of cyberbullying. Children's preferred coping strategy is to block the perpetrator. 
  • Seven per cent of children met someone offline that they first met online. About one third of these children met someone that has no connection to their everyday life. Only a few parents know that their children met someone face to face whom they met before only online. 


Sara Signer Widmer
IPMZ - Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zürich
Tel: +41 (0)44 634 46 93
Fax: +41(0)44 634 49 34