Skip to main content

Safer Internet Centre

Do you have a cyberbullying or digital safety concern? 0844 381 4772

Insight into the digital lives of families

Fascinating findings from Ofcom's Media Lives research, which is following a group of 18 children aged 8-15 over three years to understand their use and understanding of digital media. 

The research is summarised in a series of three Research Highlights from the Evidence Group of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, available on our website at

The research explores children's use of technology, understanding of online safety issues, family dynamics around technology and understanding of advertising.

Interesting insights include:

  • Apps and portable devices meant parents and children were not always sure when children were online.

  • Children of all ages found it easiest to think of physical dangers that might come from being online, like being stalked or kidnapped, rather than issues around cyberbullying or sharing images they might regret later. 

  • The children did not always apply safety messages consistently in different contexts. While they could all repeat the safety messages they had learned, they did not always apply them consistently, or across different platforms or services.

  • The reality of day-to-day life could undermine parents’ attempts at mediation.

  • Parents sometimes found it difficult to strike the right balance between protecting their children and ensuring they were able to get the benefits that media can offer, and technical solutions were not always flexible enough to facilitate this.

  • Advertising was seen as a mark of credibility and trustworthiness, particularly online if the site had lots of adverts from trusted brands. 

Find out more in the Research Highlights:

85: Children’s Media Lives: Year 1 Findings - Online Safety, Family Dynamics, Parental Concerns and Mediation

86: Children’s Media Lives: Year 1 Findings - Devices and Activities

87: Children’s Media Lives: Year 1 Findings – Adverting, Content Creation and Funding

Explore the full series of Research Highlights: