Cyber ​​security education for children should focus on screen time, Norton says

A new study by Norton reveals that French households are increasingly affected by excessive use of screens and that the digital education of children has become a worrying social problem.

“In this world that has become more and more digitally dependent, as parents, our insecurity is constantly growing around the protection of our children. Today, we must undoubtedly be an example to our children and include new criteria in their education,” explains Stéphane Decque, Senior Manager France at NortonLifeLock.

Excessive use of screens has become the new norm in the home

The main lesson of this study could not be clearer: Since the confinement, the time spent online has continued to increase, and in the end, the use of the screen has become more than excessive. It’s undeniable: screens are now an integral part of French life, as they now say they spend 5.2 hours a day outside of work or school. A stable figure for a year, and which demonstrates the daily excessive use of screens, which has now become a new norm. Or even a banality, as almost 6 out of 10 adults surveyed admit that they spend way too much time in front of screens, and more than 2 out of 5 French people say they feel addicted to screens today. A problem that may reach even more children, as 9 out of 10 French adults believe that parents are a little too dependent on screens to employ their children. Especially since 82% of parents believe that children are addicted to screens.

A problem that may reach even more children, as 9 out of 10 French adults believe that parents are a little too dependent on screens to employ their children. Especially since 82% of parents believe that children are addicted to screens.

While social media offers endless opportunities to connect with friends and family, it is a major contributor to screen time. In fact, more than a third of French adults surveyed who have a social networking account (37%) admit that they spend too much time there.

However, its impact on health is very real. The survey reveals that 68% of French adults surveyed say they try to limit their screen time by doing other activities, and that 91% of parents surveyed take measures to limit their children’s screen time. Yet almost half of French adults (46%) believe that screen time has a negative impact on their physical health, and about a third (32%) say it has a negative impact on their mental health.

“For the first time, during incarceration, the entire family home – parents and children – shared the same screens. Today, it is crucial to make screens an ally in the field of family dynamics; to make screens a space for sharing and support to initiate dialogue. While it is very clearly counterproductive to ask a child to self-regulate, parental controls are seen as a valuable help to parenting to control and regulate the time spent in front of screens, says Michael Stora, founder of the Observatory of Digital Worlds in Human. science, psychologist and sociologist.

Digital education is first and foremost a family affair

“According to the Norton survey, 90% of French adults surveyed believe that parents should actively monitor their children’s screen time each week. Because today they are sometimes used as true cathodic nannies. However, we must help unemployed parents take a look at their children’s digital practices, ”explains Michael Stora.

Education in cybersecurity remains a crucial issue in the home. Because most parents of children under the age of 18 (64%) of the respondents believe that their children have performed a task on their devices without their permission. The most common situations? Posting messages on parents’ respective social networks (25%), accessing inappropriate content (23%), clicking on a suspicious link (22%), contacting inadvertently (21%) or sharing personal information (20%). In short, comical and unfortunate situations that could have been avoided with better control of the use of the screen and the initiation of an open dialogue on current digital issues. A somewhat alarming assessment, also prepared by the majority of the French surveyed, as ¾ of them (75%) acknowledge that it is difficult for parents to ensure the safety of their children when they are online.

While 88% of parents of children under the age of 18 in the survey say they regularly teach their children how to access online content securely, 68% trust their children to surf the Internet without any supervision.

“Above all, this study shows that cybersecurity is a family matter. Although there is no infallible solution today, it has become crucial to encourage dialogue on the concept of cybersecurity and to agree on a charter in the home, in order to imprint the right ones. gesture as soon as possible. young age, ”concludes Stéphane Decque, Senior Manager France at NortonLifeLock.


About 2022 Norton Cyber ​​Safety Insights Report: Special Edition – Home and Family

The survey was conducted online in France by Harris Poll and NortonLifeLock among 1,000 adults over the age of 18 from May 16 to June 2, 2022. Data are weighted where necessary – age, gender, region, education and Internet use – to match them to their actual proportions in the population.

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