Dated: 16 May 2001

A larger proportion of parents (81%) trust their children to behave responsibly on the Internet, as compared to children (46%) who trusted themselves to behave responsibly on the Internet.

This is one of the key findings of the survey, "Uses and Perceptions of the Internet: Children and Parents' Perspectives". The survey was conducted for the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi) by Dr Angeline Khoo, Dr Lim Cher Ping and Dr Michael Williams, lecturers from the National Institute of Education. The survey aimed to study:

The level of awareness that Singapore parents and children have of Internet problems and dangers The questionnaire focused on the following problems and dangers: pornography, sexual predators, Internet addiction, violent games and misinformation.;

- The level of concern parents and children have over Internet problems and dangers;and
- Parents' and childrens' perception of measures or strategies to safeguard children from these problems and dangers.

The survey was conducted in nine schools and a total of 1,173 participants - 621 parents and 552 students - responded. The students surveyed ranged from 10 to 18 years old.

In light of the survey results, PAGi called for parents to play a more proactive role in their children's use of the Internet by adopting educational strategies rather than control strategies. The findings also showed that the former is a more favoured approach by both parents and children.

"Being the first survey conducted to study the difference in perceptions which parents and children have on online safety, the results have provided PAGi with very good insights into the level of awareness of online safety among local parents and children. What is most enlightening is that the results show both parents and children prefer educational strategies when it comes to safe surfing," said Dr Angeline Khoo, who is also PAGi's Chairman of Education Programme Subcommittee.

Other key findings obtained from the survey were:

- Parents are more aware and more concerned about Internet dangers than children. English speaking parents have a higher level of awareness as compared to non-English speaking parents;

- Children 16 years old and above have a higher awareness level of Internet dangers;

- Both parents and children have similar concerns about getting pornographic materials, obtaining misinformation, meeting sexual predators and Internet addiction;

- Children between 13 and 15 years old are least concerned about Internet dangers;

- Both parents and children favour educational strategies compared to control measures;and

- There is a low awareness level of Family Access Network (FAN) services (64%) among respondents. However, FAN subscription rate is high among parents who are aware of this service (81%).

"It is very encouraging to know that parents want to make the effort to learn about online safety in order for them to impart good safe surfing skills to their children. The survey results have also shown that there are lots more that can be done to raise the awareness level of online safety in Singapore. This year, PAGi will be working towards creating greater awareness and parents can look forward to more initiatives from PAGi to empower them on online safety," said Mrs Carmee Lim, Chairman, PAGi.

PAGi will be launching an Advanced Online Safety Workshop on Saturday, 19 May 2001. The Advanced Online Safety Workshop is targeted at parents who are already familiar with the Internet and would like to gain more in-depth knowledge of potential dangers of the Internet such as pornography, chat and online games, filtering tools, e.g. FAN, and how parents can adopt various management strategies for children of different ages. PAGi volunteers who are trained on the Advanced Online Safety, will then, serve as PAGi's online safety ambassadors and conduct training to fellow parents around the island.

"To meet the needs of both children and parents, PAGi has, once again, worked with Childnet International (UK) to design training materials for PAGi's Advanced Online Safety Workshop. Parents play the most important role in ensuring child safety on the Internet. We hope that parents will be better equipped to meet the role of a 'cyberparent' after attending the Advanced Online Safety Workshop," said Mrs Lim.

Other initiatives that PAGi will be embarking on include strengthening its multi-lingual Online Safety Workshops for parents who may be more conversant in their mother tongues. PAGi will also embark on a campaign to increase awareness level for FAN. PAGi understands from the survey that children aged between 13 to 15 years old are least concerned about online safety and are also least receptive towards parental intervention when it comes to surfing the Internet. PAGi is developing a set of training materials for 'tweenies'Tweenies are children aged between 11 and 13 years old. to ensure that safe surfing habits are inculcated in them when they are young in order for them to be aware of the potentials and pitfalls of online content, contact and commerce.

PAGi welcomes parents who are interested in PAGi's cause and want to help promote online safety in Singapore. For more information on PAGi, do visit its website at

Note to Editor:

The Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi), chaired by Mrs Carmee Lim, is a volunteer group of parents formed on 13 November 1999. It serves as a support network for parents to share their ideas and concerns on guiding their children to use the Internet positively.

PAGi empowers parents on online safety by conducting regular Online Safety Workshops, collaborating in exhibitions and events organised by community groups. To date, PAGi has reached out to some 16,000 parents through all its public education initiatives.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023