Online safety awareness of elementary school students from Croatian rural and urban areas
Objective: To examine the factors related to the use of internet and the awareness of online safety among students from one elementary school in a village and one in a city.
Participants and methods: Participants in the research (n=119) were first to fourth graders attending “Braća Ribar” Elementary School in the village of Posedarje (n=53), and “Šimun Kožičić Benja” Elementary School in the city of Zadar (n=66). An 18-item questionnaire in Croatian was created and distributed among participants.
Results: Six (11.3%) students attending school in the village and 16 (24.2%) students attending school in the city were not sufficiently informed about what the Internet is and what purposes it serves. Students from urban area were better informed about the concept of personal data compared with students from rural area (71,2% vs. 47.2%, P=0.038). There was no statistically significant difference with regard to other aspects of online safety.
Conclusion: Elementary school students from rural and urban areas know what the Internet is and frequently use different Internet applications. However, they still lack awareness and proper understanding of online safety. Results from this study highlight the need for an appropriate educational intervention.
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