Connected kids are living in virtual worlds

AVG’s latest research into how children interact with technology found that nearly half (46%) of kids aged 6-9 spend more time chatting, playing and interacting in virtual worlds.

Overall, the study found that 89% of 6-9 year olds are active online and virtual worlds for kids (such as Webkinz and Disney’s Club Penguin) have soared in popularity.

Child online safety is a growing concern for parents as reports of cyberbullying and other more sinister practices are becoming commonplace in the media.

This is also reflected in AVG’s Digital Diaries study which found that 64% of parents say they use parental controls to help keep their child safe online.

On top of this, 89% of mothers say that their child has not been teased online by their peers. Academic research has indicated, however, that parents often underestimate how often their child is subjected to cyberbullying and that around 30% of children admitted to being a victim.

Other Key Findings

Kids are now true digital natives

  • Over 60% of kids are now spending more than 2 hours a week online
  • 7% of kids spend more than 10 hours a week online (12% in the US, 16% in Brazil)
  • 70% of mums with kids aged 6-9 are using parental controls

 Digital Skills are being learnt before life skills (2-5 year olds):

  • More kids can play a basic computer game (66%) than ride a bike (58%)
  • 47% of kids can navigate a smartphone or tablet while only 38% can write their full name
  • 28% of kids can open a web browser than make their own breakfast (26%)

 Parents are still creating digital footprints

  • 80% of parents with kids aged 0-5 have uploaded images of their child to the internet
  • 25% of parents admitted doing so to “show off their child”
  • The most common reason to upload images is to share with family and friendsHowever 92% of parents haven’t registered their child’s email address


An online survey of 6,017 parents was undertaken in the UK, US, France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand. The survey was set up using Research Now and fieldwork took place in November and December 2013.

About AVG Technologies

AVG’s mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG’s powerful yet easy-to‐use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG’s software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to 172 million active users as of September 30, 2013 and offers a protection, performance and privacy products and services suite to consumers and small businesses including Internet security, performance optimization, mobile security, online backup, identity protection and family safety software.