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Czech, Slovak children very incautious on Internet

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Survey shows 40 or more percent would meet a stranger from online

Czech and Slovak kids are very incautious in using the Internet, and almost a half of them would meet an unknown person who addressed them online, a survey conducted by Olomouc’s Palacký University together with the Seznam.cz, Google and Vodafone firms has shown.

More and more children and juveniles aged between 11 and 17 place their intimate photos on the Internet, the survey showed.

It showed that 40 percent of Czech and 42 percent of Slovak children would meet a person they know from the Internet only.

About 50 percent of Slovak and 44 percent of Czech child respondents said they have been invited to a personal meeting by an unknown person via the Internet.

Over 27 percent of Slovak children said their Internet “friends” asked them not to tell anyone about their conversation on the net, the poll showed.

“Most children withhold the information that they are going to meet an unknown person. If they want to tell anyone, they prefer telling it to their friends, rather than teachers,” Martin Kožíšek from Seznam.cz, said.

Only 3 percent of the respondents said they would inform their teacher about the plan.

Almost 8 percent of Czech and Slovak kids have placed their intimate photos on the Internet, and about 10 percent have sent their photos voluntarily to someone.

Seventy percent of the respondents said they are aware of the risks posed by these practices, known as sexting.

Evidently, children most often practice sexting in relation to the persons whom, they believe, they know and whom they trust.

The problem rests in the words “they believe,” said Michal Zachar from Seznam.cz.

It often happens that amid mutual discords, a child retaliates to his or her friends by releasing their intimate photos, Zachar said.

The number of online attacks is on the rise as well. Czech and Slovak children most often face verbal attacks and the attackers’ penetration in their personal Internet accounts.

The number of blackmail cases involving materials of sexual character has also been rising, the survey showed.

 

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