Netsafe’s research has identified there are significant differences in how girls and boys approach the internet and staying safe online. Learn about the differences and find out how you can support your child to have a better online experience now.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GIRLS AND BOYS?
We’ve found major differences when it comes to what young people are doing online.
- Girls are more likely to use the internet for socialising and connecting with friends. Photo and video sharing apps (e.g. Instagram), instant messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Snapchat) and social networking sites were all found to be more popular with girls than boys
- Boys are more likely to use the internet for entertainment, especially gaming
- Girls were more likely to use smartphones as their chosen device and boys were more likely to use a desktop computer or gaming console
- All genders enjoy watching videos online
Our research also shows that girls and boys have the same level of confidence when it comes to their digital know-how, but that their individual skills differ:
- Boys demonstrate a greater confidence in editing content created by others
- Girls are more likely to show an understanding of what information should be shared online (and what should be kept private) and how to change their privacy settings on social media.
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD HAVE A SAFER ONLINE EXPERIENCE
The gender differences in how kids engage online impacts what you need to think about to keep them safe. Helping kids access online opportunities safely is important and it can be challenging for parents to know where to start as every child is different.
If you don’t feel confident with talking about online safety here’s some advice to get you started, and consider learning more with your child.
- Have ongoing conversations with your child about how they’re using devices, what platforms they’re on and who they’re connecting to. This helps you understand what they’re doing and how to best guide them to be safe.
- If you’re child is a gamer, talk to them about what games they play?
- Teach your child basic privacy etiquette as many children, regardless of gender, often need more assistance with this including how to change privacy settings and managing contact lists. Our privacy guides for social media will help you with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- Read up on and play around with the apps and websites your child uses. We’ve also got advice for whānau on Fortnite, Tik Tok, and Reddit.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Online report at netsafe.org.nz/report
- Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282