Half of Swedish kids have been cyberbullied

The recent Youth Online study conducted by Cybercom shows that more than two fifths of Swedish 12 to 17-year-olds report that they have been the victims of bullying or unkindness online. And seven out of ten know someone who has been cyberbullied.

The study shows that cyberbullying and unkindness online are a widespread problem among Swedish adolescents aged 12 to 17, especially during the summer holidays, when a full eight out of ten (80 percent) of young people in the country report that they spend four hours a day or more online, connected via their mobile phones, tablets or PCs.

The Youth Online study, based on 1,049 interviews with young people aged 12 to 17, shows that girls are cyberbullied more often than boys. A full 46 percent of the girls who participated in the study report that they have been cyberbullied or treated unkindly online, compared to 39 percent of the boys. Overall, 43 percent report they have been cyberbullied and 68 percent know someone who has been.

A little over one third (35 percent) of 12 to 17-year-olds say they have written something online that they would not have said IRL (in real life), while 15 percent admit that they have done something unkind to someone else online.

Almost three out of ten (29 percent) of the young people state that they have had pictures or videos of themselves published online against their will. About one fifth (22 percent) report that they have published pictures or videos of themselves on the net that they later regretted.

“I am convinced that our industry can do even more to promote a positive climate online for young people. We can also cooperate more with organisations like Hello World and Area 08, which are outstanding arenas for increasing our understanding of how adolescents want to use the internet in an uplifting way. I believe we will see more constructive partnerships among schools, public authorities and businesses in the future,” says Niklas Flyborg, CEO of Cybercom.


Parents set the rules – until age 16

The study also shows that two thirds (68 percent) of 12 to 17-year-olds in Sweden have rules for their internet use set by their parents. At age 12, most kids – 84 percent – have rules for their internet use, but somewhere around age 16, it seems parents are ready to hand over the responsibility to their children. By that age, only half of adolescents have rules that must be followed.

The most common rules have to do with what young people are allowed to publish on the net (35 percent), what kinds of games they are allowed to play (33 percent) and screen time – how long they are allowed to be online – (32 percent). One third of the adolescents (32 percent) report that there are no rules at home about their internet use.

Almost nine out of ten (86 percent) of Swedish adolescents believe they have learned how they are allowed to or should behave online. Only 4 percent say that they have never learned this, while one out of ten say that they do not know whether they have learned how they are allowed to or should act online.

Of those who have learned what they are allowed to do online, almost all (91 percent) have learned from their parents. School is the next most common source of knowledge (62 percent), followed by those who have learned from their siblings (23 percent) and friends (22%).


Other results of the study include:

  • 19 percent of Swedish adolescents say they have reported content or behaviour on the net, such as offensive pictures, cyberbullying or racism.
  • 21 percent report being contacted online by an unknown person whom they suspect is not who they claim to be.
  • 52 percent of Swedish young people never think about the identity of the source or creator of the material that they see, watch or read online.
  • Nearly all (98 percent) Swedish adolescents have their own mobile phones.
  • The typical mobile phone owned by Swedish 12 to 17-year-olds costs SEK 4,119 and the average mobile phone contract costs SEK 254 per month.
  • On average, adolescents keep their mobile phones for 26 months before they are given or buy a new one.

Commissioned by Cybercom, the Youth Online study was conducted during the period of 22-30 May 2018 by market research firm Userneeds.

Download the entire Youth Online study here: https://www.cybercom.com/youthonline

For further information, please contact:

Kristina Cato, Head of Sustainability and Communications                          +46 708 644 702

Niklas Flyborg, President and CEO                                                              +46 705 7094 9678

About Cybercom
Cybercom is an innovative IT consulting firm that enables leading companies and organisations to benefit from the opportunities of digitalisation. We provide innovative, secure and sustainable solutions in IT and communications technology by combining technical edge and strong business insight. This applies whether the issue is transforming products into services, developing new business models or helping the public sector get closer to citizens. We are found where technology and business development meet. We think big. We test, learn and adapt. And the distance from planning to concrete action is short. The single objective is for our clients to succeed in the connected world. This is how we are making tomorrow, today. We are a highly diverse company, with a large age range, 44 nationalities and assignments in 21 countries. We are creating the world of tomorrow in unison, we are creative, fearless and inquisitive – always ready to challenge the status quo. We turn our words into action and empower change. We are the #Makers of tomorrow. Cybercom has been a privately owned company since 2015. Its main shareholders are JCE Group AB and Tequity AB. Cybercom’s domestic markets are the Nordic region and Poland, and in addition the company offers global delivery capacity for local and international business. www.cybercom.com