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Minors should be better protect themselves online


19:30, July 24, 2013

BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Minors should further boost their awareness of protecting themselves online, a report on the results of a survey on the Internet habits of young people warned.

The survey, the seventh of its kind, was conducted in 2012 by the Chinese Young Pioneers Business Development Center under the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

Those surveyed included 13,488 people aged 10 to 17 from 98 urban primary and middle schools, as well as their parents, in 10 provincial-level regions.

According to the report revealed to Xinhua on Wednesday, more than half of the young people surveyed have befriended people online that they do not know in real life, but only 8.8 percent have chosen to pursue relations forged in cyberspace offline.

To better protect their rights and interests, minors need to improve their abilities to select, question, understand, assess and use new media, such as microblogs, instant messaging and the Internet, the report said.

The majority, or 96.8 percent, of surveyed minors have used the Internet, an increase of 5.4 percent from 2011. More than half recalled using the Internet for the first time when they were ten years old or younger.

Despite a marked improvement in the cyber environment over recent years, a considerable amount of surveyed students reported that they believe they are still exposed to malicious information in advertisements, videos and games, mainly in the forms of obscene imagery and false information, the report said.

According to the survey, most minors use the same websites as adults, but 41.8 percent, females in particular, explicitly expressed a desire for websites designed with minors in mind.

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